This book, divided into three parts, called his VISIONS, COMMANDS, and
SIMILITUDES, is thus entitled, because it was composed by Hernias, brother to Pius, bish-
op of Rome; and because the Angel, who bears the principal part in it, is represented in the
form and habit of a shepherd. Irenxus quotes it under the very name of Scripture. Origen
thought it a most useful writing, and that it was divinely inspired; Eusebius says that, though
it was not esteemed canonical, it was read publicly in the churches, which is corroborated by
Jerome; and Athanasius cites it, calls it a most useful work, and observes, that though it was
not strictly canonical, the Fathers appointed it to be read for direction and confirmation in
faith and piety. Jerome, notwithstanding this, and that he applauded it in his catalogue of
writers, in his comments upon it afterwards, terms it apocryphal and foolish. Turtullian
praised it when a Catholic, and abused it when a Montanist. Although Gelasius ranks it
among the apocryphal books, it is found attached to some of the most ancient MSS. of the
New Testament; and Archbishop Wake, believing it the genuine work of an apostolical Father,
preserves it to the English reader by the foregoing translation, in which he has rendered the
three parts of it not only more exact, but in greater purity than they had before appeared. The
archbishop procured Dr. Grabe to entirely collate the old Eatin version with an ancient MS. in
the Eambeth library; and the learned prelate himself still further improved the whole from a
multitude of fragments of the original Greek never before used for that purpose.
THE FIRST PART OF THE BOOK OF
HERMAS CALLED HIS VISION.
/ Against filthy and proud thoughts; 20
also the neglect of Hermas in chastising
HE who had bred me up sold a cer-
tain young maid at Rome; whom
when I saw many years after, I re-
membered her, and began to love her
as a sister. It happened some time
afterwards, that I saw her washing in
the river. Tyber; and I reached out
my hand unto her, and brought her
out of the river,
2 And when I saw her I thought
with myself, saying, How happy
should I be if I had such a wife,
both for beauty and manners. This I
thought with myself; nor did I think
any thing more. But not long after,
as I was walking, and musing on
these thoughts, I began to honour
this creature of God, thinking with
myself; how noble and beautiful she
3 And when I had walked a little, I
fell asleep; and the spirit caught me
away, and carried me through a cer-
tain place towards the right hand,
through which no man could pass. It
was a place among rocks, very steep,
and unpassable for water.
4 When I was past this place, I came
into a plain; and there falling down
upon my knees, I began to pray unto
the Lord, and to confess my sins.
5 And as I was praying, the heaven
was opened, and I saw the woman
which I had coveted, saluting me
from heaven, and saying, Hermas,
hail! and I looking upon her,
answered, Lady, what dost thou do
here? She answered me, I am taken
up hither to accuse thee of sin be-
fore the Lord.
H E R M A S
6 Lady, said I, wilt thou convince
me? No, said she: but hear the words
which I am about to speak unto thee.
God who dwelleth in heaven, and
hath made all things out of nothing,
and hath multiplied them for his
holy church's sake, is angry with thee
because thou hast sinned against me.
7 And I answering said unto her,
Lady, if I have sinned against thee,
tell me where, or in what place, or
when did I ever speak an unseemly
or dishonest word unto thee?
8 Have I not always esteemed thee
as a lady? Have I not always rever-
enced thee as a sister? Why then dost
thou imagine these wicked things
9 Then she, smiling upon me, said:
the desire of naughtiness has risen
up in thy heart. Does it not seem to
thee to be an ill thing for a righteous
man to have an evil desire rise up in
10 It is indeed a sin, and that a very
great sin, to such a one; for a right-
eous man thinketh that which is
righteous. And whilst he does so,
and walketh uprightly, he shall have
the Lord in heaven favourable unto
him in all his business.
11 But as for those who think
wickedly in their hearts, they take to
themselves death and captivity; and
especially those who love this
present world, and glory in their
riches, and regard not the good
things that are to come; their souls
wander up and down and know not
where to fix.
12 Now this is the case of such as
are double-minded, who trust not in
the Lord, and despise and neglect
their own life.
13 But do thou pray unto the Lord,
and he will heal thy sins, and the sins
of thy whole house, and of all his
14 As soon as she had spoken these
words the heaven were shut, and I
remained utterly swallowed up with
sadness and fear: and said within
myself, if this be laid against me for
sin, how can I be saved.
15 Or how should I ever be able to
entreat the Lord for my many and
great sins? With what words shall I
beseech him to be merciful unto me?
16 As I was thinking over these
things, and meditating in myself
upon them, behold a chair was set
over against me of the whitest wool,
as bright as snow.
17 And there came an old woman in
a bright garment, having a book in
her hand, and sat alone, and saluted
me, saying, Hermas, hail! and I being
full of sorrow and weeping,
answered, Hail Lady!
18 And she said unto me, Why art
thou sad, Hermas, who wert wont to
be patient, and modest, and always
cheerful? I answered, and said to
her, Lady, a reproach has been laid
to my charge by an excellent woman,
who tells me that I have sinned
19 She replied, Far be any such
thing from the servant of God. But
it may be the desire of her has risen
up in thy heart? For indeed such a
thought maketh the servants of God
guilty of sin.
20 Nor ought such a detestable
thought to be in the servant of God:
nor should he who is approved by
the Spirit desire that which is evil;
but especially Hermas, who contains
himself from all wicked lusts, and is
full of all simplicity, and of great in-
21 Nevertheless the Lord is not so
much angry with thee for thine own
sake, as upon the account of thy
house, which has committed wicked-
H E R M A S
ness against the Lord, and against
22 And for that out of thy fondness
towards thy sons, thou hast not ad-
monished thy house, but hast per-
mitted them to live wickedly; for this
cause the Lord is angry with thee:
but he will heal all the evils that are
done in thy house. For through their
sins and iniquities, thou art wholly
consumed in secular affairs.
23 But now the mercy of God hath
taken compassion upon thee, and
upon thine house, and hath greatly
comforted thee. Only as for thee, do
not wander, but be of an even mind,
and comfort thy house.
24 As the workman bringing forth
his work, offers it to whomsoever he
pleaseth; so shalt thou by teaching
every day what is just, cut off a
great sin. Wherefore cease not to ad-
monish thy sons, for the Lord knows
that they will repent with all their
heart, and they shall be written in
the book of life.
25 And when she had said this, she
added unto me; Wilt thou hear me
read? I answered her, Lady, I will.
26 Hear then, said she; and opening
the book she read, gloriously,
greatly, and wonderfully, such things
as I could not keep in my memory.
For they were terrible words, such as
no man could bear.
27 How it be I committed her last
words to my remembrance; for they
were but few, and of great use to us:
28 Behold the mighty Lord, who by
his invisible power, and with his ex-
cellent wisdom made the world, and
by his glorious counsel beautified his
creature, and with the word of his
strength fixed the heaven, and foun-
ded the earth upon the waters; and
by his powerful virtue established
the Holy Church, which he hath
29 Behold he will remove the heav-
ens, and the mountains, the hills, and
the seas; and all things shall be made
plain for his elect; that he may
render unto them the promise which
he has promised, with much honour
and joy; if so be that they shall keep
the commandments of God, which
they have received with great faith.
30 And when she had made an end
of reading, she rose out of the chair;
and behold four young men came,
and carried the chair to the east.
31 And she called me unto her, and
touched my breast, and said unto me,
Did my reading please thee? I
answered, Lady, these last things
please me; but what went before was
severe and hard.
32 She said unto me, these last
things are for the righteous, but the
foregoing for the revolters and hea-
33 And as she was talking with me,
two men appeared, and took her
upon their shoulders, and went to
the east where the chair was.
34 And she went cheerfully away;
and as she was going, said unto me,
Hermas, be of good cheer.
Again, of his neglect in correcting his
talkative wife; and of his lewd sons.
AS I was on the way to Cuma, about
the same time that I went the year
before, I began to call to mind the
vision I formerly had. And again the
spirit carried me away, and brought
me into the same place, in which I
had been the year before.
2 And when I was come into the
place, I fell down upon my knees,
and began to pray unto the Lord,
and to glorify his name, that he had
H E R M A S
esteemed me worthy, and had mani-
fested unto me my former sins.
3 And when I arose from prayer, be-
hold I saw over against me the old
woman whom I had seen the last
year, walking and reading in a certain
4 And she said unto me, Canst thou
tell these things to the elect of God?
I answered and said unto her, Lady, I
cannot retain so many things in my
memory, but give me the book, and I
will write them down.
5 Take it, says she, and see that
thou restore it again to me.
6 As soon as I had received it, I
went aside into a certain place of the
field, and transcribe every letter, for
I found no syllables.
7 And as soon as I had finished
what was written in the book, the
book was suddenly caught out of my
hand, but by whom I saw not.
8 After fifteen days, when I had fas-
ted, and entreated the Lord with all
earnestness, the knowledge of the
writing was revealed unto me. Now
the writing was this: —
9 Thy seed, O Hermas! hath sinned
against the Lord, and have betrayed
their parents, through their great
wickedness. And they have been
called the betrayers of their parents,
and have gone on in their treachery.
10 And now have they added lewd-
ness to their other sins, and the pol-
lutions of their naughtiness: thus
have they filled up the measure of
their iniquities. But do thou upbraid
thy sons with all these words; and
thy wife, who shall be as thy sister;
and let her learn to refrain her
tongue, with which she calumniates.
11 And when she shall hear these
things, she will refrain herself, and
shall obtain mercy.
12 And they also shall be instructed,
when thou shalt have reproached
them with these words, which the
Lord has commanded to be revealed
13 Then shall their sins be forgiven,
which they have heretofore commit-
ted, and the sins of all the saints
who have sinned even unto this day;
if they shall repent with all their
hearts, and remove all doubts out of
14 For the Lord hath sworn by his
glory concerning his elect, having
determined this very time, that if
any one shall even now sin, he shall
not be saved.
15 For the repentance of the right-
eous has its end; the days of repent-
ance are fulfilled to all the saints;
but to the heathen, there is repent-
ance even unto the last day.
16 Thou shalt therefore say to those
who are over the church, that they
order their ways in righteousness; so
that they may fully receive the prom-
ise with much glory.
17 Stand fast therefore ye that work
righteousness and continue to do it,
that your departure may be with the
18 Happy are ye, as many as shall
endure the great trial that is at hand,
and whosoever shall not deny his
19 For the Lord hath sworn by his
Son, that whoso, denieth his Son and
HIM, being afraid of his life, he will
also deny him in the world that is to
20 But those who shall never deny
him, he will of his exceeding great
mercy be favourable unto them.
21 But thou, O Hermas! remember
not the evils which thy sons have
done, neither neglect thy sister, but
take care that they amend of their
22 For they will be instructed by
this doctrine, if thou shalt not be
H E R M A S
mindful of what they have done
23 For the remembrance of evils
worketh death, but the forgetting of
them eternal life.
24 But thou, O Hermas! hast under-
gone a great many worldly troubles
for the offences of thy house, be-
cause thou hast neglected them, as
things that did not belong unto thee;
and thou art wholly taken up with
thy great business.
25 Nevertheless, for this cause shalt
thou be saved, that thou hast not de-
parted from the living God, and thy
simplicity and singular continency
shall preserve thee, if thou shalt
continue in them.
26 Yes, they shall save all such as do
such things, and walk in innocence
27 They who are of this kind shall
prevail against all impiety, and con-
tinue until life eternal.
28 Happy are all they that do right-
eousness, they shall not be consumed
29 But thou wilt say, Behold there is
a great trial coming. If it seem good
to thee, deny him again.
30 The Lord is nigh to them that
turn to him, as it is written in the
book of Heldam and Modal, who
prophesied to the people of Israel in
31 Moreover, brethren, it was re-
vealed to me, as I was sleeping, by a
very goodly young man, saying unto
me, What thinkest thou of that old
woman from whom thou receivedst
the book; who is she? I answered, a
32 Thou art mistaken said he, she is
not. I replied, Who is she then, sir?
He answered me, It is the church of
33 And I said unto him, Why then
does she appear old? She is there-
fore, said he, an old woman, because
she was the first of all the creation,
and the world was made for her.
34 After this I saw a vision at home
in my own house, and the old wo-
man, whom I had seen before, came
to me and asked me whether I had
yet delivered her book to the elders
of the church? And I answered, that
I had not yet.
35 She replied, Thou hast well done,
for I have certain words more to tell
thee. But when I shall have finished
all the words, they shall be clearly
understood by the elect.
36 And thou shalt write two books,
and send one to Clement and one to
Grapte. For Clement shall send it to
the foreign cities, because it is per-
mitted to him so to do: but Grapte
shall admonish the widows and
37 But thou shalt read in this city
with the elders of the church.
Of the building of the church tri-
umphant, and of the several sorts of rep-
THE vision which I saw, brethren,
2 When I had often fasted and
prayed unto the Lord, that he would
manifest unto me the revelation,
which he had promised by the old
woman to show unto me; the same
night she appeared unto me, and said
3 Because thou dost thus afflict thy-
self, and art so desirous to know all
things, come into the field, where
thou wilt, and about the sixth hour, I
will appear unto thee, and show thee
what thou must see.
4 I asked her, saying; Lady, into
what part of the field? She
answered, wherever thou wilt, only
choose a good and a private place.
H E R M A S
And before I began to speak and tell
her the place, she said unto me; I
will come where thou wilt.
5 I was therefore, brethren in the
field and I observed the hours, and
came into the place where I had ap-
pointed her to come.
6 And I beheld a bench placed; it
was a linen pillow, and over it spread
a covering of fine linen.
7 When I saw these things ordered
in this manner, and that there was
nobody in the place, I began to be
astonished, and my hair stood on
end, and a, kind of horror seized
me; for I was alone.
8 But being come to myself, and
calling to mind the glory of God,
and taking courage, I fell down upon
my knees and began again to confess
my sins as before.
9 And whilst I was doing this, the
old woman came thither with the six
young men whom I had seen before,
and stood behind me as I was pray-
ing, and heard me praying and con-
fessing my sins unto the Lord.
10 And touching me, she said; Leave
off praying now only for thy sins;
pray also for righteousness, that
thou mayest receive a part of it in
11 And she lifted me up from the
place, and took me by the hand, and
brought me to the seat; and said to
the young men, go, and build.
12 As soon as they were departed,
and we were alone, she said unto me;
sit here. I answered her; Lady, let
those who are elder sit first. She
replied, Sit down as I bid you.
13 And when I would have sat on
the right side, she suffered me not,
but made a sign to me with her hand,
that I should sit on the left.
14 As I was therefore musing, and
full of sorrow, that she would not
suffer me to sit on the right side, she
said unto me, Hermas, why art thou
15 The place which is on the right
hand is theirs who have already at-
tained unto God, and have suffered
for his name-sake. But there is yet a
great deal remaining unto thee, be-
fore thou canst sit with them.
16 But continue as thou doest, in
thy sincerity, and thou shalt sit with
them; as all others shall, who do
their works, and shall bear what they
17 I said to her; Lady, I would know
what it is that they have suffered?
Hear then, said she: wild beasts,
scourgings, imprisonments, and
crosses for his name-sake.
18 For this cause the right hand of
holiness belongs to them, and to all
others as many as shall suffer for the
name of God; but the left belongs to
19 Howbeit the gifts and the prom-
ises belong to both, to them on the
right, and to those on the left hand;
only that sitting on the right hand
they have some glory above the oth-
20 But thou art desirous to sit on
the right hand with them, and yet thy
defects are many. But thou shalt be
purged from thy defects, as also all
who doubt not shall be cleansed
from all the sins which they have
committed unto this day.
21 And when she had said this she
would have departed.
22 Wherefore, falling down before
her feet, I began to entreat her, for
the Lord's sake, that she would show
me the vision which she had prom-
23 Then she again took me by the
hand, and lifted me up, and made me
sit upon the seat at the left side; and
holding up a certain bright wand,
H E R M A S
said unto me, Seest thou that great
thing? I replied, Lady, I see nothing.
24 She answered, Dost thou not see
over against thee a great tower,
which is built upon the water with
bright square stones?
25 For the tower was built upon a
square by these six young men that
came with her.
26 But many thousand of other men
brought stones; some drew them out
of the deep, others carried them
from the ground, and gave them to
the six young men; and they took
them and built.
27 As for those stones which were
drawn out of the deep, they put
them all into the building; for they
were polished, and their squares ex-
actly answered one another, and so
one was joined in such wise to the
other, that there was no space to be
seen where they joined, insomuch
that the whole tower appeared to be
built as it were of one stone.
28 But as for the other stones that
were taken off from the ground,
some of them they rejected, others
they fitted into the building.
29 As for those which were rejected,
some they cut out, and cast them at a
distance from the tower; but many
others of them lay round about the
tower, which they made no use of in
30 For some of these were rough,
others had clefts in them, others
were white and round, not proper
for the building of the tower.
31 But I saw the other stones cast
afar off from the tower, and falling
into the high-way, and yet not con-
tinuing in the way, but were rolled
from the way into a desert place.
32 Others I saw falling into the fire
and burning; others fell near the wa-
ter, yet could not roll themselves
into it, though very desirous to fall
into the water.
33 And when she had showed me
these things she would have depar-
ted; but I said to her, Lady, what
doth it profit me to see these things,
and not understand what they mean?
34 She answered and said unto me;
You are very cunning, in that you are
desirous to know those things which
relate to the tower. Yea, said I, lady,
that I may declare them unto the
brethren, and they may rejoice, and
hearing these things may glorify God
with great glory.
35 Then she said, Many indeed shall
hear them, and when they shall have
heard them, some shall rejoice, and
others weep. And yet even these, if
they shall repent, shall rejoice too.
36 Hear therefore what I shall say
concerning the parable of the tower,
and after this be no longer impor-
tunate with me about the revelation.
37 For these revelations have an
end, seeing they are fulfilled. But
thou dost not leave off to desire rev-
elations, for thou art very urgent.
38 As for the tower which thou
seest built, it is myself, namely, the
church, which have appeared to thee
both now and heretofore. Wherefore
ask what thou wilt concerning the
tower, and I will reveal it unto thee,
that thou mayest rejoice with the
39 I said unto her, Lady, because
thou hast thought me once worthy to
receive from thee the revelation of
all these things, declare them unto
40 She answered me, Whatsoever is
fit to be revealed unto thee shall be
revealed: only yet thy heart be with
the Lord, and doubt not, whatsoever
thou shalt see.
41 I asked her, Lady, why is the
tower built upon the water? She
H E R M A S
replied, I said before to thee that
thou wert very wise to inquire dili-
gently concerning the building,
therefore thou shalt find the truth.
42 Hear therefore why the tower is
built upon the water: because your
life is and shall be saved by water.
For it is founded by the word of the
almighty and honourable name, and
is supported by the invisible power
and virtue of God.
43 And I answering, said unto her,
These things are very admirable; but,
lady, who are those six young men
44 They are, said she, the angels of
God, who were first appointed, and
to whom the Lord has delivered all
his creatures, to frame and build
them up, and to rule over them. For
by these the building of the tower
shall be finished.
45 And who are the rest who bring
46 They also are the holy angels of
the Lord; but the others are more ex-
cellent than these. Wherefore when
the whole building of the tower shall
be finished, they shall all feast to-
gether beside the tower, and shall
glorify God, because the structure
of the tower is finished.
47 I asked her, saying, I would know
the condition of the stones, and
what the meaning of them is?
48 She answering, said unto me, Art
thou better than all others that this
should be revealed unto thee? For
others are both before thee and bet-
ter than thou art, to whom these vis-
ions should be made manifest.
49 Nevertheless, that the name of
God may be glorified, it has been
shown and shall be revealed unto
thee, for the sake of those who are
doubtful, and think in their hearts
whether these things are so or not.
50 Tell them that all these things
are true, and that there is nothing in
them that is not true but all are firm
and truly established.
51 Hear now then concerning the
stones that are in the building.
52 The square and white stones
which agree exactly in their joints,
are the apostles, and bishops, and
doctors, and ministers, who through
the mercy of God have come in, and
governed, and taught and ministered
holily and modestly to the elect of
God, both they that have fallen
asleep, and which yet remain; and
have always agreed with them, and
have had peace within themselves,
and have heard each other.
53 For which cause their joints ex-
actly meet together in the building
of the tower.
54 They which are drawn out of the
deep and put into the building, and
whose joints agree with the other
stones which are already built, are
those which are already fallen asleep,
and have suffered for the sake of the
55 And what are the other stones,
lady, that are brought from the
earth? I would know what are they.
56 She answered, They which lie
upon the ground and are not pol-
ished, are those which God has ap-
proved, because they have walked in
I the law of the Lord, and directed
their ways in his commandments.
57 They which are brought and put
in the building of the tower, are the
young in faith and the faithful. And
these are admonished by the angels
to do well because iniquity is not
found in them.
58 But who are those whom they re-
jected, and laid beside the tower?
59 They are such as have sinned and
are willing to repent; for which cause
they are not cast far from the tower,
H E R M A S
because they will be useful for the
building, if they shall repent.
60 They therefore that are yet to re-
pent, if they repent they shall be-
come strong in the faith; that is, if
they repent now, whilst the tower is
building. For if the building shall be
finished there will then be no place
for them to be put in, but they shall
be rejected; for he only has this priv-
ilege who shall now be put into the
61 But would you know who they
are that were cut out, and cast afar
off from the tower? Lady said I, I
62 They are the children of iniquity,
who believed only in hypocrisy, and
departed not from their evil ways;
for this cause they shall not be
saved, because they are not of any
use in the building by reason of
63 Wherefore they are cut out, and
cast afar off, because of the anger
of the Lord, and because they have
provoked him to anger against them.
64 As for the great number of other
stones which thou hast seen placed
about the tower, but now put into
the building; those which are rugged,
are they who have known the truth,
but have not continued in it, nor
been joined to the saints, and there-
fore are unprofitable.
65 Those that have clefts in them,
are they that keep up discord in their
hearts against each other, and live
not in peace; that are friendly when
present with their brethren, but as
soon as they are departed from one
another, their wickedness still con-
tinues in their hearts: these are the
clefts which are seen in those stones.
66 Those that are maimed and
short, are they who have believed in-
deed, but still are in great measure
full of wickedness; for this cause
they are maimed and not whole.
67 But what are the white and round
stones, lady, and which are not prop-
er for the building of the tower?
68 She answering said unto me:
How long wilt thou continue foolish
and without understanding, asking
everything and discerning nothing?
69 They are such as have faith in-
deed, but have withal the riches of
this present world. When therefore
any troubles arise, for the sake of
their riches and traffic, they deny the
70 I answering, said unto her, When
therefore will they be profitable to
the Lord? When their riches shall be
cut away, says she, in which they take
delight, then they will be profitable
unto the Lord for his building.
71 For as a round stone, unless it be
cut away and is cast somewhat of its
bulk, cannot be made square, so they
who are rich in this world; unless
their riches be pared off; cannot be
made profitable unto the Lord.
72 Learn this from thy own experi-
ence: when thou wert rich, thou wast
unprofitable; but now thou art prof-
itable, and fit for the life which thou
hast undertaken; for thou also once
was one of those stones.
73 As for the rest of the stones
which thou sawest cast afar off from
the tower, and running in the way,
and tumbled out of the way into
desert places; they are such as have
believed indeed, but through their
doubting have forsaken the true way,
thinking that they could find a bet-
ter. But they wander and are miser-
able, going into desolate ways.
74 Then for those stones which fell
into the fire and were burnt, they are
those who have for ever departed
from the living God; nor doth it ever
come into their hearts to repent, by
H E R M A S
reason of the affection which they
bear to their lusts and wickedness
which they commit.
75 And what are the rest which fell
by the water, and could not roll into
76 They are such as have heard the
word, and were willing to be bap-
tised in the name of the Lord; but
considering the great holiness which
the truth requires, have withdrawn
themselves, an walked again after
77 Thus she finished the explana-
tion of the tower.
78 But I being still urgent, asked
her, Is there repentance allowed to
all those stones which are thus cast
away, and were not suitable to the
building of the tower; and shall they
find place in this tower?
79 They may repent, said she, yet
they cannot come into this tower;
but, they shall be placed in a much
lower rank, and then only after they
shall have been afflicted and fulfilled
the days of their sins.
80 And for this cause they shall be
removed, because they have received
the word of righteousness: and then
they shall be translated from their
afflictions, if they shall have a true
sense in their hearts of what they
have done amiss.
81 But if they shall not have this
sense in their hearts, they shall not
be saved by reason of the hardness
of their hearts.
82 When therefore I had done ask-
ing her concerning all these things,
she said unto me, Wilt thou see
something else? And being desirous
of seeing it, I became very cheerful
83 She therefore looking back upon
me, and smiling a little, said unto
me, Seest thou seven women about
the tower? Lady, said I, I see them.
84 This tower, replied she, is sup-
ported by them, according to the
command of the Lord: hear there-
fore the effects of them.
85 The first of them, which holds
fast with her hand, is called Faith;
The next, which is girt up, and looks
manly, is named Abstinence: she is
the daughter of Faith.
86 Whosoever therefore shall follow
her shall be happy in all his life, be-
cause he shall abstain from all evil
works, believing that if he shall con-
tain himself from all concupiscence,
he shall be the heir of eternal life.
And what, lady, said I, are the other
87 They are, replied she, the daugh-
ters of one another. The first of
them is called Simplicity; the next
Innocence; the third Modesty; then
Discipline; and the last of all is
Charity. When therefore thou shalt
have fulfilled the works of their
mother, thou shalt be able to do all
88 Lady, said I, I would know what
particular virtue every one of these
89 Hear then, replied she; they have
equal virtues, and their virtues are
knit together, and follow one anoth-
er as they were born.
90 From Faith proceeds Abstinence;
from Abstinence, Simplicity; from
Simplicity, Innocence; from Inno-
cence, Modesty; from Modesty, Dis-
cipline and Charity. Therefore the
works of these are holy, and chaste,
91 Whoever therefore shall serve
these, and hold fast to their works,
he shall have his dwelling in the
tower with the saints of God.
92 Then I asked her concerning the
times, whether the end were now at
H E R M A S
93 But she cried out with a loud
voice, saying, O foolish man! Dost
thou not see the tower yet a build-
ing? When therefore the tower shall
be finished, and built, it shall have
an end; and indeed it shall soon be
94 But do not ask me any more
questions. What has been said may
suffice thee and all the saints for the
refreshment of your spirits. For
these things have not been revealed
to thee only, but that thou mayest
make them manifest unto all.
95 For therefore, O Hermas, after
three days thou must understand
these words which I begin to speak
unto thee, that thou mayest speak
them in the ears of the saints; that
when thou shall have heard and done
them, they may be cleansed from
their iniquities, and thou together
96 Hear me therefore, O my sons! I
have bred you up in much simplicity,
and innocency, and modesty, for the
love of God, which has dropped
down upon you in righteousness,
that you should be sanctified and
justified from all sin and wickedness;
but ye will not cease from your evil
97 Now therefore hearken unto me,
and have peace one with another,
and visit one another, and receive
one another, and do not enjoy the
creatures of God alone.
98 Give freely to them that are in
need. For some by too free feeding
contract an infirmity in their flesh,
and do injury to their bodies; whilst
the flesh of others, who have not
food, withers away, because they
want sufficient nourishment, and the
bodies are consumed.
99 Wherefore this intemperance is
hurtful to you, who have, and do not
contribute to them that want. Pre-
pare for the judgment that is about
to come upon you.
100 Ye that are the more eminent,
search out them that are hungry,
whilst the tower is yet unfinished.
For when the tower shall be finished,
ye shall be willing to do good, and
shall not find any place in it.
101 Beware, therefore, ye that glory
in your riches, lest perhaps they
groan who are in want, and their
sighing come up unto God, and ye
be shut out with your goods without
the gate of the tower.
102 Behold I now warn you who are
set over the church, and love the
highest seats, be not ye like unto
those that work mischief.
103 And they indeed carry about
their poison in boxes, but ye contain
your poison and infection in your
hearts, and will not purge them, and
mix your sense with a pure heart,
that ye might find mercy with the
104 Take heed, my children, that
your dissensions deprive you not of
your lives. How will ye instruct the
elect of God, when ye yourselves
want correction? Wherefore admon-
ish one another, and be at peace
among yourselves, that I, standing
before your Father, may give an ac-
count of you unto the Lord.
105 And when she had made an end
of talking with me, the six young
men that built, came and carried her
to the tower; and four others took
up the seat on which she sat, and
they also went away again to the
tower. I saw not the faces of these,
for their backs were towards me.
106 As she was going away, I asked
her, that she would reveal to me
what concerned the three forms, in
which she had appeared unto me.
107 But she answering said unto me,
concerning these things thou must
H E R M A S
ask some other, that they may be re-
vealed unto thee.
108 Now, brethren, in the first vis-
ion the last year, she appeared unto
me exceedingly old, and sitting in a
109 In another vision, she had in-
deed a youthful face, but her flesh
and hair were old; but she talked
with me standing, and was more
cheerful than the first time.
110 In the third vision, she was in
all respects much younger, and
comely to the eye; only she had the
hair of an aged person: yet she
looked cheerful, and sat upon a seat.
111 I was therefore very sad con-
cerning these things, until I might
understand the vision.
112 Wherefore I saw the same old
woman in a vision of the night say-
ing unto me, All prayer needeth hu-
miliation. Fast, therefore, and thou
shalt learn from the Lord that which
thou dost ask. I fasted therefore one
113 The same night a young man ap-
peared to me and said, Why dost
thou thus often desire Revelations in
thy prayers? Take heed that by asking
many things, thou hurt not the body.
Let these Revelations suffice thee.
114 Canst thou see more notable
Revelations than those which thou
hast already received?
115 I answered and said unto him,
Sir, I only ask this one thing upon
the account of the three figures of
the old woman that appeared to me,
that the Revelation may be complete.
116 He answered me, You are not
without understanding, but your
doubts make you so; for as much as
you have not your heart with the
117 I replied and said, But we shall
learn these things more carefully
118 Hear then, says he, concerning
the figures about which you inquire.
119 To begin; in the first vision she
appeared to thee in the shape of an
old woman sitting in, a chair, be-
cause your old spirit was decayed,
and without strength, by reason of
your infirmities, and the doubtful-
ness of your heart.
120 For as they who are old have no
hope of renewing themselves, nor
expect any thing but their departure;
so you being weakened through your
worldly affairs gave yourself up to
sloth, and cast not away your soli-
citude from yourself upon the Lord:
and your sense was confused, and
you grew old in your sadness.
121 But, sir, I would know why she
sat upon a chair?
122 He answered, because every one
that is weak sitteth upon a chair by
reason of his infirmity, that his
weakness may be upheld. Behold
therefore the figure of the first vis-
123 In the second vision you saw
her standing, and having a youthful
face, and more cheerful than her
former; but her flesh and her hair
were ancient. Hear, said he, this par-
124 When any one grows old, he
despairs of himself by reason of his
infirmity and poverty, and expects
nothing but the last day of his life.
125 But on a sudden an inheritance
is left to him, and he hears of it, and
rises: and being become cheerful, be
puts on new strength. And now he
no longer sits down, but stands, and
is delivered from his former sorrow;
and sits not, but acts manfully.
126 So you, having heard the Revel-
ation which God revealed unto you,
because God had compassion upon
you, and renewed your spirit, both
laid aside your infirmities, and
H E R M A S
strength came to you, and you grew
strong in the faith; and God, seeing
your strength, rejoiced.
127 For this cause he showed you
the building of the tower, and will
show other things unto you, if you
shall have peace with all your heart
among each other.
128 But in the third vision you saw
her yet younger, fair and cheerful,
and of a serene countenance.
129 For, as if some good news
comes to him that is sad, he straight-
way forgets his sadness, and regards
nothing else but the good news
which he has heard; and for the rest
he is comforted, and his spirit is re-
newed through the joy which he has
received even so you have been re-
freshed in your spirit by seeing these
130 And for that you saw her sitting
upon a bench, it denotes a strong
position; because a bench has four
feet, and stands strongly. And even
the world itself is upheld by the four
131 They therefore that repent per-
fectly, shall be young; and they that
turn from their sins with their whole
heart, shall be established.
132 And now you have the Revela-
tion fully, ask no more to have any
thing farther revealed unto you.
133 But if any thing is to be re-
vealed, it shall be made manifest
Of the trial, and tribulation that is
about to come upon men.
1 SAW a vision brethren, twenty
days after the former vision; a rep-
resentation of the tribulation that is
at hand. I was walking in the field
2 Now from the public way to the
place whither I went is about ten
furlongs; it is a way very little fre-
3 And as I was walking alone, I en-
treated the Lord that he would con-
firm the Revelations which he had
shown unto me by his Holy Church.
4 And would grant repentance to all
his servants who had been offended,
that his great and honourable name
might be glorified, and because he
thought me worthy to whom he
might show his wonders, and, that I
might honour him, and give thanks
5 And behold somewhat like a voice
answered me; Doubt not, Hermas.
Wherefore I began to think, and say
within myself, why should I doubt,
seeing I am thus settled by the Lord,
and have seen such glorious things?
6 I had gone but a little farther,
brethren, when behold I saw a dust
rise up to heaven. I began to say
within myself, is there a drove of
cattle coming, that rises such a dust?
7 It was about a furlong off from
me. And behold I saw the dust rise
more and more, insomuch that I
began to suspect that there was
somewhat extraordinary in it.
8 And the sun shone a little; and be-
hold I saw a great beast, as it were a
whale; and fiery locusts came out of
his mouth. The height of the beast
was about a hundred feet, and he had
a head like a large earthen vessel.
9 I began to weep, and to pray unto
the Lord that he would deliver me
from it. Then I called to mind the
word which I had heard; Doubt not,
10 Wherefore, brethren, putting on
a divine faith, and remembering who
it was that had taught me great
things, I delivered myself bodily
unto the beast.
H E R M A S
11 Now the beast came on in such a
manner, as if it could at once have
devoured a city.
12 I came near unto it, and the beast
extended its whole bulk upon the
ground, and put forth nothing but
its tongue, nor once moved itself till
I had quite passed by it.
13 Now the beast had upon its head
four colours; first black, then a red
and bloody colour, then a golden,
and then a white.
14 After that I had passed by it, and
was gone forward about thirty feet,
behold there met me a certain virgin,
well adorned as if she had been just
come out of her bride-chamber; all
in white, having on white shoes, and
a veil down her face, and covered
with shining hair.
15 Now I knew by my former vis-
ions that it was the church, and
thereupon grew the more cheerful.
She saluted me, saying, Hail, O Man!
I returned the salutation, saying,
16 She answering said unto me, Did
nothing meet you, O man! I replied,
Lady, there met me such a beast, as
seemed able to devour a whole
people; but by the power of God,
and through his singular mercy, I es-
17 Thou didst escape it well, said
she, because thou didst cast thy
whole care upon God, and opened
thy heart unto him, believing that
thou couldst be safe by no other
than by his great and honourable
18 For this cause the Lord sent his
angel, who is over the beast, whose
name is Hegrin, and stopped his
mouth, that he should not devour
thee, Thou hast escaped a great trial
through thy faith, and because thou
didst not doubt for such a terrible
19 Go, therefore, and relate to the
elect of God the great things that he
hath done for thee. And thou shalt
say unto them, that this beast is the
figure of the trial that is about to
20 If, therefore, ye shall have pre-
pared yourselves, ye may escape it, if
your hearts be pure and without
spot; and if ye shall serve God all
the rest of your days without com-
21 Cast all your care upon the Lord,
and he will direct them. Believe in
God, ye doubtful, because he can do
all things; he can both turn away his
wrath from you, and send you help
22 Woe to the doubtful, to those
who shall hear these words, and shall
despise them: it had been better for
them that they had not been born.
23 Then I asked her concerning the
four colours which the beast had
upon its head. But she answered me
saying; Again thou art curious in that
thou asketh concerning these things.
But I said to her, Lady, chew me
what they are?
24 Hear, said she; The black which
thou sawest denotes the world in
which you dwell. The fiery and
bloody colour signifies that this age
must be destroyed by fire and blood.
25 The golden part are ye, who have
escaped out of it; for as gold is tried
by the fire, and is made profitable,
so are ye also in like manner tried
who dwell among the men of this
26 They therefore, that shall endure
to the end, and be proved by them,
shall be purged. And as gold, by this
trial, is cleansed and loses its dross,
so shall ye also cast away all sorrow
and trouble, and be made pure for
the building of the tower.
H E R M A S
27 But the white colour denotes the
time of the world which is to come,
in which the elect of God shall
dwell: because the elect of God shall
be pure and without spot until life
28 Wherefore do not thou cease to
speak these thing in the ears of the
saints. Here ye have the figure of the
great tribulation that is about to
come; which, if you please, shall be
nothing to you.
29 When she had spoken thus much,
she departed; but I saw not whither
she went. But suddenly I heard a
noise, and I turned back, being
afraid, for I thought that the beast
was coming toward me.
THE SECOND PART OF THE BOOK
OF HERMAS, CALLED HIS COM-
WHEN I had prayed at home, and
was sat down upon the bed, a certain
man came in to me with a reverend
look, in the habit of a Shepherd,
clothed with a white cloak, having
his bag upon his back, and his staff
in his hand, and saluted me.
2 I returned his salutation, and im-
mediately he sat down by me, and
said unto me, I am sent by that ven-
erable messenger, that I should dwell
with thee all the remaining days of
3 But I thought that he was come to
try me, and said unto him, Who are
you? For I know to whom I am com-
mitted. He said unto me, Do you not
know me? I answered no. I am, said
he, that shepherd to whose care you
4 Whilst he was yet speaking, his
shape was changed; and when I knew
that it was he to whom I was com-
mitted, I was ashamed, and a sudden
fear came upon me, and I was utterly
overcome with sadness, because I
had spoken so foolishly unto him.
5 But he said unto me, Be not
ashamed, but receive strength in thy
mind, through the commands which
I am about to deliver unto thee. For,
said he, I am sent to show unto thee
all those things again, which thou
hast seen before, but especially such
of them as may be of most use unto
6 And first of all write my Com-
mands and Similitudes, the rest thou
shall so write as I shall show unto
thee. But I therefore bid thee first
of all write my Commands and
Similitudes, that by often reading of
them thou mayest the more easily
keep them in memory.
7 Whereupon I wrote his Commands
and Similitudes, as he bade me.
8 Which things if when you have
heard, ye shall observe to do them,
and shall walk according to them,
and exercise yourselves in them with
a pure mind, ye shall receive from
the Lord those things which he has
promised unto you.
9 But if having heard them ye shall
not repent, but shall still go on to
add to your sins, ye shall be pun-
ished by him.
10 All these things that Shepherd,
the angel of repentance, commanded
me to write.
Of believing in one God.
FIRST of all believe that there is
one God who created and brought all
things out of nothing into existence.
2 He comprehends all things, and is
only INFINITE, not to be compre-
hended by any.
3 Who can neither be defined by
any words, nor conceived by the
H E R M A S
4 Therefore believe in him, and fear
him; and fearing him abstain from all
5 Keep these things, and cast all lust
and iniquity far from thee, and put
on righteousness, and thou shalt live
to God, if thou shalt keep his com-
That we must avoid detraction, and do
our alms-deeds with simplicity.
HE said unto me, Be innocent and
without disguise; so shalt thou be
like an infant who knows no malice
which destroys the life of man.
2 Especially see that thou speak evil
of none, nor willingly hear any one
speak evil of others.
3 For if thou observest not this,
thou also who hearest shall be par-
taker of the sin of him that speaketh
evil, by believing the slander, and
thou also shalt have sin, because
thou believedst him that spoke evil
of thy brother.
4 Detraction is a pernicious thing;
an inconstant, evil spirit; that never
continues in peace, but is always in
discord. Wherefore refrain thyself
from it, and keep peace ever more
with thy brother.
5 Put on an holy constancy, in
which there are no sins, but all is full
of joy; and do good of thy labours.
6 Give without distinction to all
that are in want, not doubting to
whom thou givest.
7 But give to all, for God will have
us give to all, of all his own gifts.
They therefore that receive shall give
an account to God, both wherefore
they received and for what end.
8 And they that receive without real
need, shall give an account for it;
but he that gives shall be innocent.
9 For he has fulfilled his duty as he
received it from God; not making
any choice to whom he should give,
and to whom not. And this service
he did with simplicity and to the
glory of God.
10 Keep therefore this command ac-
cording as I have delivered it into
thee: that thy repentance nay be
found to be sincere, and that good
may come to thy house; and have a
Of avoiding lying, and the repentance of
Hermas for his dissimulation.
MOREOVER he said unto me love
truth; and let all the speech be true
which proceeds out of thy mouth.
2 That the spirit which the Lord
hath given to dwell in thy flesh may
be found true towards all men; and
the Lord be glorified, who hath giv-
en such a spirit unto thee: because
God is true in all his words, and in
him there is no lie.
3 They therefore that lie, deny the
Lord, and become robbers of the
Lord, not rendering to God what
they received from him.
4 For they received the spirit free
from lying: If therefore they make
that a liar, they defile what was com-
mitted to them by the Lord, and be-
5 When I heard this, I wept bitterly;
and when he saw me weeping, he
said unto me, Why weepest thou?
And I said, Because, sir, I doubt
whether I can be saved.
6 He asked me, Wherefore? I
replied, Because, sir, I never spake a
true word in my life; but always lived
in dissimulation, and affirmed a lie
for truth to all men; and no man
contradicted me, but all gave credit
to my words. How then can I live,
seeing I have done in this manner?
H E R M A S
7 And he said unto me, Thou
thinkest well and truly; for thou
oughtest, as the servant of God, to
have walked in the truth, and not
have joined an evil conscience with
the spirit of truth, nor have grieved
the holy and true Spirit of God.
8 And I replied unto him, Sir, I nev-
er before hearkened so diligently to
these things. He answered, Now thou
hearest them Take care from hence-
forth, that even those things which
thou hast formerly spoken falsely for
the sake of thy business, may, by thy
present truth receive pardon.
9 For even those things may be for-
given, if for the time to come thou
shalt speak the truth; and by so do-
ing thou mayest attain unto life.
10 And whosoever shall hearken
unto this command, and do it, and
shall depart from all lying, he shall
live unto God.
Of putting away one 's wife for adultery.
FURTHERMORE, said he, I com-
mand thee, that thou keep thyself
chaste; and that thou suffer not any
thought of any other marriage, or of
fornication, to enter into thy heart;
for such a thought produces great
2 But be thou at all times mindful
of the Lord, and thou shalt never
sin. For if such an evil thought
should arise in thy heart, then thou
shall be guilty of a great sin; and
they who do such things, follow the
way of death.
3 Look therefore to thyself, and
keep thyself from such a thought;
for where chastity remains in the
heart of a righteous man, there an
evil thought ought never to arise.
4 And I said unto him, Sir, suffer
me to speak a little to you. He bade
me say on. And I answered, Sir, if a
man that is faithful in the Lord shall
have a wife, and shall catch her in
adultery; doth a man sin that contin-
ues to live still with her?
5 And he said unto me, As long as
he is ignorant of her sin, he commits
no fault in living with her; but if a
man shall know his wife to, have of-
fended, and she shall not repent of
her sin, but go on still in her fornic-
ation, and a man shall continue nev-
ertheless to live with her, he shall
become guilty of her sin, and par-
take with her in her adultery.
6 And I said unto him, What there-
fore is to be done, if the woman
continues on in her sin? He
answered, Let her husband put her
away, and let him continue by him-
self; but if he shall put away his wife
and marry another, he also doth
7 And I said, What, if the woman
that is so put away, should repent,
and be willing to return to her hus-
band, shall she not be received by
him? He said unto me, Yes; and if
her husband shall not receive her, he
will sin, and commit a great offence
against himself; for he ought to re-
ceive the offender, if she repents:
only not often.
8 For, to the servants of God, there
is but one repentance; and for this
cause a man that putteth away his
wife ought not to take another, be-
cause she may repent.
9 This act is alike both in the man
and in the woman. Now they commit
adultery, not only who pollute their
flesh, but who also make an image.
If therefore a woman perseveres in
any thing of this kind, and repents
not, depart from her; and live not
with her, otherwise thou also shalt
be partaker of her sin.
10 But it is therefore commanded
that both the man and the woman
H E R M A S
should remain unmarried, because
such persons may repent.
11 Nor do I in this administer any
occasion for the doing of these
things; but rather that whoso has of-
fended, should not offend any more.
12 But for their former sins, God
who has the power of healing will
give a remedy; for he has the power
of all things.
13 I asked him again, and said, See-
ing the Lord hath thought me worthy
that thou shouldest dwell with me
continually, speak a few words unto
me, because I understand nothing,
and my heart is hardened through my
former conversation; and open my
understanding because I am very
dull, and apprehend nothing at all.
14 And he answering said unto me, I
am the minister of repentance, and
give understanding to all that repent.
Does it not seem to thee to be a very
wise thing to repent? Because he that
does so gets great understanding.
15 For he is sensible that he hath
sinned and done wickedly in the
sight of the Lord, and he remembers
within himself that he has offended,
and repents and does no more
wickedly, but does that which is
good, and humbles his soul and af-
flicts it, because he has offended.
You see therefore that repentance is
16 And I said unto him, For this
cause, sir, I inquire diligently into all
things, because I am a sinner, that I
may know what I must do that I may
live; because my sins are many.
17 And he said unto me, Thou shalt
live if thou shalt keep these my com-
mandments. And whosoever shall
hear and do these commands shall
live unto God.
18 And I said unto him, I have even
now heard from certain teachers,
that there is no other repentance be-
side that of baptism, when we go
down into the water, and receive the
forgiveness of our sins; and that
after that, we must sin no more, but
live in purity.
19 And he said unto me, Thou hast
been rightly informed. Never- the-
less seeing now thou inquirest dili-
gently into all things, I will manifest
this also unto thee; yet not so as to
give any occasion of sinning, either
to those who shall hereafter believe,
or to those who have already be-
lieved in the Lord.
20 For neither they who have newly
believed, or shall hereafter believe,
have any repentance of sins, but for-
giveness of them.
21 But as to those who have been
called to the faith, and since that are
fallen into any gross sin, the Lord
hath appointed repentance, because
God knoweth the thoughts of all
men's hearts, and their infirmities,
and the manifold wickedness of the
devil, who is always contriving some-
thing against the servants of God,
and maliciously lays snares for them.
22 Therefore our merciful Lord had
compassion towards his creature, and
appointed that repentance, and gave
unto me the power of it. And there-
fore I say unto thee, if any one after
that great and holy calling shall be
tempted by the devil and sin, he has
one repentance. But if he shall often
sin and repent, it shall not profit
such a one; for he shall hardly live
23 And I said, Sir, I am restored
again to life since I have thus dili-
gently hearkened to these commands.
For I perceive that if I shall not
hereafter add any more of my sins, I
shall be saved.
24 And he said, Thou shalt be
saved: and so shall all others, as
H E R M A S
many as shall observe these com-
25 And again I said unto him, Sir,
seeing thou hearest me patiently,
show me yet one thing more. Tell
me, saith he, what it is.
26 And I said, If a husband or a
wife die, and the party which sur-
vives marry again, does he sin in so
doing? He that marries says he, sins
not: howbeit, if he shall remain
single, he shall thereby gain to him-
self great honour before the Lord.
27 Keep therefore thy chastity and
modesty, and thou shalt live unto
God. Observe from henceforth those
things which I speak with thee, and
command thee to observe, from the
time that I have been delivered unto
thee, and dwell in thy house.
28 So shall thy former sins be for-
given, if thou shalt keep these my
commandments. And in like manner
shall all others be forgiven, who
shall observe these my command-
Of the sadness of the heart, and of pa-
BE patient, says he, and long- suf-
fering; so shalt thou have dominion
over all wicked works, and shall fulfil
2 For if thou shalt be patient, the
Holy Spirit which dwelleth in thee
shall be pure, and not be darkened
by any evil spirit; but being full of
joy shall be enlarged, and feast in the
body in which it dwells, and serve
the Lord with joy, and in great peace.
3 But if any anger shall overtake
thee, presently the Holy Spirit which
is in thee will be straightened and
seek to depart from thee.
4 For he is choked by the evil spirit,
and has not the liberty of serving
the Lord as he would; for he is
grieved by anger. When, therefore,
both these spirits dwell together, it
is destructive to a man.
5 As if one should take a little
wormwood, and put it into a vessel
of honey, the whole honey would be
spoiled; and a great quantity of
honey is corrupted by a very little
wormwood, and loses the sweetness
of honey, and is no longer accept-
able to its Lord because the whole
honey is made bitter, and loses its
6 But if no wormwood be put into
the honey, it is sweet and profitable
to its Lord. Thus is forbearance
sweeter than honey, and profitable to
the Lord who dwelleth in it.
7 But anger is unprofitable. If
therefore anger shall be mixed with
forbearance, the soul is distressed,
and its prayer is not profitable with
8 And I said unto him, Sir, I would
know the sinfulness of anger, that I
may keep myself from it. And he
said unto me, Thou shall know it;
and if thou shalt not keep thyself
from it, thou shalt lose thy hope
with all thy house. Wherefore depart
9 For I the messenger of righteous-
ness am with thee, and all that de-
part from it: as many as shall repent
with all their hearts, shall live unto
God; and I will be with them, and
will keep them all.
10 For all such as have repented
have been justified by the most holy
messenger, who is a minister of sal-
11 And now, says he, hear the
wickedness of anger; how evil and
hurtful is is, and how it overthrows
the servants of God; for it cannot
hurt those that are full of faith be-
cause the power of God is with
them; but it overthrows the doubt-
H E R M A S
ful, and those that are destitute of
12 For as often as it sees such men,
it casts itself into their hearts; and
so a man or woman is in bitterness
for nothing: for the things of life, or
for sustenance, or for a vain word, if
any should chance to fall in; or by
reason of any friend, or for a debt,
or for any other superfluous things
of the like nature.
13 For these things are foolish, and
superfluous, and vain to the servants
of God. But equanimity is strong,
and forcible; and of great power,
and sitteth in great enlargement; is
cheerful, rejoicing in peace; and
glorifying God at all times I with
14 And this long-suffering dwells
with those that are full of faith. But
anger is foolish, and light, and
empty. Now bitterness is bred
through folly; by bitterness, anger;
by anger, fury; and this fury arising
from so many evil principles, wor-
keth a great and incurable sin.
15 For when all these things, are in
the same man in which the Holy
Spirit dwells, the vessel cannot con-
tain them, but runs over: and be-
cause the Spirit being tender cannot
tarry with the evil one; it departs
and dwells with him that is meek.
16 When, therefore, it is departed
from the man in whom it dwelt, that
man becomes destitute of the Holy
Spirit, and is afterwards filled with
wicked spirits, and is blinded with
evil thoughts. Thus doth it happen
to all angry men.
17 Wherefore depart then from an-
ger, and put on equanimity, and res-
ist: wrath; so then shalt be found
with modesty and chastity by God.
Take good heed, therefore, that thou
neglect not this commandment.
18. For if thou shalt obey this com-
mand, then thou shalt also be able to
observe the other commandments
which I shall command thee.
19 Wherefore strengthen thyself
now in these commands, that then
mayest live unto God. And whoso-
ever shall observe these command-
ments shall live unto God.
That every man has two angels and of
the suggestions of both.
1 COMMANDED thee, said he, in
my first commandments, that thou
shouldst keep faith and fear, and re-
pentance. Yes, sir, said I.
2 He continued. But now I will shew
thee the virtues of these commands,
that then mayest know their effects;
how they are prescribed alike to the
just and unjust.
3 Do thou therefore believe the
righteous, but give no credit to the
unrighteous. For righteousness keep-
eth the right way, but unrighteous-
ness the wicked way.
4 Do thou therefore keep the right
way, and leave that which is evil. For
the evil way has not a good end, but
hath many stumbling- blocks; it is
rugged and full of thorns, and leads
to destruction; and it is hurtful to all
such as walk in it.
5 But they who go in the right way
walk with evenness, and without of-
fence; because it is not rough nor
6 Thou seest therefore how it is
best to walk in this way. Thou shalt
therefore go, says he, and all others,
as many as believe in God with all
their heart, shall go through it.
7 And now, says he, I understand
first of all what belongs to faith.
There are two angels with man; one
of righteousness, the other of
H E R M A S
8 And I said unto him, Sir, how
shall I know that there are two such
angels with man? Hear, says he, and
9 The angel of righteousness, is
mild and modest, and gentle, and
quiet. When, therefore, he gets into
thy heart, immediately he talks with
thee of righteousness, of modesty,
of chastity, of bountifulness, of for-
giveness, of charity, and piety.
10 When all these things come into
thy heart, know then that the angel
of righteousness is with thee.
Wherefore hearken to this angel and
to his works.
11 Learn also the works of the angel
of iniquity. He is first of all bitter,
and angry, and foolish; and his works
are pernicious, and overthrow the
servants of God. When therefore
these things come into thine heart;
thou shalt know by his works, that
this is the angel of iniquity.
12 And I said unto him, Sir, how
shall I understand these things?
Hear, says he, and understand; When
anger overtakes thee, or bitterness,
know that he is in thee:
13 As also, when the desire of many
things, and of the best meats, and of
drunkenness; when the love of what
belongs to others, pride, and much
speaking, and ambition; and the like
things, come upon thee.
14 When therefore these things arise
in thine heart, know that the angel
of iniquity is with thee. Seeing
therefore thou knowest his works,
depart from them all, and give no
credit to him: because his works are
evil, and become not the servants of
15 Here therefore thou hast the
works of both these angels. Under-
stand now and believe the angel of
righteousness, because his instruc-
tion is good.
16 For let a man be never so happy;
yet if the thoughts of the other an-
gel arise in his heart, that man or
woman must needs sin.
17 But let man or woman be never
so wicked, if the works of the angel
of righteousness come into their
hearts, that man or woman must
needs do some good.
18 Thou seest therefore how it is
good to follow the angel of right-
eousness. If therefore thou shall fol-
low him, and submit to his works,
thou shalt live unto God. And as
many as shall submit to his work
shall live also unto God.
That we must fear God but not the Dev-
FEAR God, says he, and keep his
commandments. For if thou keepest
his commandments thou shalt be
powerful in every work, and all thy
works shall be excellent. For by fear-
ing God, thou shalt do everything
2 This is that tear with which thou
must be affected that thou mayest be
saved. But fear not the Devil: for if
thou fearest the Lord, thou shalt
have dominion over him; because
there is no power in him.
3 Now if there be no power in him,
then neither is he to be feared: for
every one that has power, is to be
feared. But he that has no power is
despised by every one.
4 Fear the works of the Devil, be-
cause they are evil. For by fearing
the Lord, thou wilt fear and do not
the works of the Devil, but keep
thyself from them.
5 There is therefore a twofold fear;
if thou wilt not do evil, fear the
Lord and thou shalt not do it. But if
thou wilt do good, the fear of the
H E R M A S
Lord is strong, and great and glori-
6 Wherefore, fear God and thou
shalt live: and whosoever shall fear
him, and keep his commandments,
their life is with the Lord. But they
who keep them not, neither is there
life in them.
That we must flee from evil, and do good
1 HAVE told thee, said he, that
there are two kinds of creatures of
the Lord, and that there is a two-fold
abstinence. From some things there-
fore thou must abstain, and from
2 I answered, Declare to me, sir,
from what I must abstain, and from
what not. Hearken, said he, Keep
thyself from evil, and do it not; yet
abstain not from good, but do it. For
if thou shalt abstain from what is
good, and not do it, thou shalt sin.
Abstain therefore from all evil, and
thou shalt know all righteousness.
3 I said, What evil things are they
from which I must abstain? Hearken,
said he; from adultery, from drunk-
enness, from riots, from excess of
eating, from daintiness and dishon-
esty, from pride, from fraud, from
lying, from detraction, from hypo-
crisy, from remembrance of injuries,
and from all evil speaking.
4 For these are the works of
iniquity, from which the servant of
God must abstain. For he that can-
not keep himself from these things,
cannot live unto God.
5 But hear, said he, what follows of
these kind of things: for indeed
many more there are from which the
servant of God must abstain. From
theft, and cheating; from false wit-
ness, from covetousness, from boast-
ing, and all other things of the like
6 Do these things seem to thee to
be evil or not? Indeed they are very
evil to the servants of God, Where-
fore the servant of God must abstain
from all these works.
7 Keep thyself therefore from them,
that thou mayest live unto God, and
be written among those that abstain
from them. And thus have I shown
thee what things thou must avoid:
now learn from what thou must not
8 Abstain not from any good works,
but do them. Hear, said he, what the
virtue of those good works is which
thou must do, that thou mayest be
saved. The first of all is faith; the
fear of the Lord; charity; concord;
equity; truth; patience; chastity.
9 There is nothing better than these
things in the life of men; who shall
keep and do these things in their
life. Hear next what follow these.
10 To minister to the widows; not to
despise the fatherless and poor; to
redeem the servants of God from
necessity; to be hospitable (for in
hospitality there is sometimes great
fruit); not to be contentious, but be
11 To be humble above all men; to
reverence the aged; to labour to be
righteous; to respect the brother-
hood; to bear affronts; to be long-
suffering; not to cast away those that
have fallen from the faith, but to
convert them, and make them be of
good cheer: to admonish sinners; not
to oppress those that are our debt-
ors; and all other things of a like
12 Do these things seem to thee to
be good or not? And I said, What
can be better than these words? Live
then, said he, in these command-
ments, and do not depart from them.
H E R M A S
For if thou shalt keep all these com-
mandments, thou shalt live unto
God. And all they that shall keep
these commandments shall live unto
That we must ask of God daily; and
AGAIN he said unto me; remove
from thee all doubting; and question
nothing at all when thou askest any
thing of the Lord; saying within thy-
self, how shall I be able to ask any
thing of the Lord and receive it, see-
ing I have so greatly sinned against
2 Do not think thus, but turn unto
the Lord with all thy heart, and ask
of him without doubting, and thou
shalt know the mercy of the Lord;
bow that he will not forsake thee,
but will fulfil the request of thy
3 For God is not as men, mindful of
the injuries he has received; but he
forgets injuries, and has compassion
upon his creature.
4 Wherefore purify thy heart from
all the vices of this present world;
and observe the commands I have
before delivered unto thee from
God; and thon shall receive whatso-
ever good things thou shalt ask, and
nothing shall be wanting unto thee
of all thy petitions; if thou shalt ask
of the Lord without doubting.
5 But they that are not such, shall
obtain none of those things which
they ask. For they that are full of
faith, ask all things with confidence,
and receive from the Lord, because
they ask without doubting. But he
that doubts, shall hardly live unto
God, except he repent.
6 Wherefore purify thy heart from
doubting, and put on faith, and trust
in God, and thou shall receive all
that thou shalt ask. But if thou
shouldest chance to ask something,
and not immediately receive it, yet
do not therefore doubt, because thou
hast not presently received the peti-
tion of thy soul.
7 For it may be thou shalt not
presently receive it for thy trial, or
else for some sin which thou know-
est not. But do not thou leave off to
ask, and then thou shalt receive. Else
if thou shalt cease to ask, thou must
complain of thyself, and not of God,
that he has not given unto thee what
thou didst desire.
8 Consider therefore this doubting
how cruel and pernicious it is; and
how it utterly roots out many from
the faith, who were very faithful and
firm. For this doubting is the daugh-
ter of the Devil, and deals very
wickedly with the servants of God.
9 Despise it therefore, and thou
shalt rule over it on every occasion.
Put on a firm and powerful faith: for
faith promises all things and perfects
all things. But doubting will not be-
lieve that it shall obtain any thing by
all that it can do.
10. Thou seest therefore, says he,
how faith cometh from above from
God; and hath great power. But
doubting is an earthly spirit, and
proceedeth from the Devil, and has
11 Do thou therefore keep the vir-
tue of faith, and depart from doubt-
ing, in which is no virtue, and thou
shalt live unto God. And all shall
live unto God, as many as do these
Of the sadness of the heart; and that we
must take, heed not to grieve the spirit of
God that is in us.
PUT all sadness far from thee; for it
is the sister of doubting and of an-
H E R M A S
ger. How, sir, said I is it the sister of
these? For sadness, and anger, and
doubting, seem to me to be very dif-
ferent from one another.
2 And he answered: Art thou
without sense that thou dost not un-
derstand it? For sadness is the most
mischievous of all spirits, and the
worst to the servants of God: It des-
troys the spirits of all men, and tor-
ments the Holy Spirit, and it saves
3 Sir, said I, I am very foolish, and
understand not these things. I can-
not apprehend how it can torment,
and yet save. Hear, said he, and un-
derstand. They who never sought out
the truth, nor inquired concerning
the majesty of God, but only be-
lieved, are involved in the affairs of
4 And there is another lying prophet
that destroys the minds of the ser-
vants of God; that is of those that
are doubtful, not of those that fully
trust in the Lord. Now those doubt-
ful persons come to him, as to a di-
vine spirit, and inquire of him what
shall befall them.
5 And this lying prophet, having no
power in him of the Divine Spirit,
answers them according to their de-
mands, and fills their souls with
promises according as they desire.
Howbeit that prophet is vain, and
answers vain things to those who are
6 And whatsoever is asked of him
by vain men, he answers them vainly;
nevertheless he speaketh some things
truly. For the Devil fills him with his
spirit, that he may overthrow some
of the righteous.
7 Whosoever therefore are strong in
the faith of the Lord, and have put
on the truth; they are not joined to
such spirits, but depart from them.
But they that are doubtful, and often
repenting, like the heathens, consult
them, and heap up to themselves
great sin, serving idols.
8 As many therefore as are such, in-
quire of them upon every occasion;
worship idols, and are foolish; and
void of the truth. For every spirit
that is given from God needs not to
be asked: but having the power of
divinity speaks all things of itself,
because he comes from above; from
the power of God.
10 But he, that being asked speaks
according to men's desires and con-
cerning many other affairs of this
present world, understands not the
tidings which relate unto God. For
these spirits are darkened through
such affairs, and corrupted, and
11 As good vines if they are neg-
lected, are oppressed with weeds and
thorns, and at last killed by them; so
are the men who believe such spirits.
12 They fall into many actions and
businesses, and are void of sense,
and when they think of things per-
taining unto God, they understand
nothing at all; but at any time they
chance to hear any thing concerning
the Lord, their thoughts are upon
13 But they that have the fear of the
Lord, and search out the truth con-
cerning God, having all their
thoughts towards the Lord; appre-
hend whatsoever is said to them, and
forthwith understand it, because
they have the fear of the Lord in
14 For where the spirit of the Lord
dwells, there is also much under-
standing added. Wherefore join thy-
self to the Lord, and thou shalt un-
derstand all things.
15 Learn now, O unwise man! how
sadness troubleth the Holy Spirit,
and how it saves. When a man that is
H E R M A S
doubtful is engaged in any affair,
and does not accomplish it by reason
of his doubting; this sadness enters
into him, and grieves the Holy Spirit,
and makes him sad.
16 Again anger, when it over, takes
any man for any business he is
greatly moved; and then again sad-
ness entereth into the heart of him,
who was moved with anger, and he is
troubled for what he hath done, and
repenteth, because he hath done
17 This sadness therefore seemeth
to bring salvation, because he repen-
teth of his evil deed. But both the
other things, namely, doubting and
sadness, such as before was men-
tioned, vex the spirit: doubting, be-
cause his work did not succeed; and
sadness, because he angered the
18 Remove therefore sadness from
thyself, and afflict not the Holy Spir-
it which dwelleth in thee, lest he en-
treat God, and depart from thee. For
the spirit of the Lord which is given
to dwell in the flesh, endureth no
19 Wherefore clothe thyself with
cheerfulness, which has always fa-
vour with the Lord, and thou shalt
rejoice in it. For every cheerful man
does well; and relishes those things
that are good, and despises sadness.
20 But the sad man does always
wickedly. First, he doth wickedly, be-
cause he grieveth the Holy Spirit,
which is given to man being of a
cheerful nature. And again he does
ill, because be prays with sadness
unto the Lord, and maketh not first
a thankful acknowledgment unto him
of former mercies, and obtains not
of God what he asks.
21 For the prayer of a sad man has
not always efficacy to come up to
the altar of God. And I said unto
him, Sir, why has not the prayer of a
sad man virtue to come up to the al-
tar of God? Because, said he, that
sadness remaineth in his heart.
22 When therefore a man's prayer
shall be accompanied with sadness, it
will not suffer his requests to ascend
pure to the altar of God. For as wine
when it is mingled with vinegar, has
not the sweetness it had before; so
sadness being mixed with the Holy
Spirit, suffers not a man's prayer to
be the same as it would be otherwise.
23 Wherefore cleanse thyself from
sadness, which is evil, and thou shalt
live unto God. And all others shall
live unto God, as many as shall lay
aside sadness, and put on cheerful-
That the spirits and prophets are to be
tried bj their works; and of a twofold,
HE showed me certain men sitting
upon benches, and one sitting in a
chair: and he said unto me; Seest
thou those who sit upon the
benches? Sir, said I, I see them. He
answered, They are the faithful; and
he who sits in the chair is an earthly
2 For he cometh not into the as-
sembly of the faitful, but avoids it.
But he joins himself to the doubtful
and empty; and prophesies to them
in corners and hidden places; and
pleases them by speaking according
to all the desires of their hearts.
3 For he placing himself among
empty vessels, is not broken, but the
one fitteth the other. But when he
cometh into the company of just
men, who are full of the spirit of
God, and they pray unto the Lord;
that man is emptied, because that
earthly spirit flies from him, and he
is dumb, and cannot speak anything.
H E R M A S
4 As if in a store-house you shall
stop up wine or oil, and among those
vessels place an empty jar; and when
afterwards you come to open it, you
shall find it empty as you stopped it
up; so those empty prophets when
they come among the spirits of the
just, are found to be such as they
5 I said, How then shall a man be
able to discern them? Consider what
I am going to say concerning both
kinds of men; and as I speak unto
thee so shalt thou prove the prophet
of God, and the false prophet.
6 And first try the man who hath
the spirit of God, because the spirit
which is from above is humble, and
quiet, and departs from all wicked-
ness; and from the vain desires of
the present world; and makes him-
self more humble than all men; and
answers to none when he is asked;
nor to every one singly: for the Spir-
it of God doth not speak to a man
when he will, but when God pleases.
7 When therefore a man who hath
the Spirit of God hath come into the
church of the righteous, who have
the faith of God, and they pray unto
the Lord; then the holy angel of
God fills that man with the blessed
Spirit, and he speaks in the congreg-
ation as he is moved of God.
8 Thus therefore is the spirit, of
God known, because whosoever
speaketh by the Spirit of God,
speaketh as the Lord will.
9 Hear now concerning the earthly
spirit, which is empty and foolish,
and without virtue. And first of all
the man who is supposed to have the
Spirit, (whereas he hath it not in
reality), exalteth himself, and desires
to have the first seat, and is wicked,
and full of words.
10 And spends his time in pleasure,
and in all manner of voluptuousness,
and receives the reward of his divin-
ation; which if he receives not, he
does not divine.
11 Should the Spirit of God receive
reward, and divine? It doth not be-
come a prophet of God so to do.
12 Thus you seethe life of each of
these kind of prophets. Wherefore
prove that man by his life and works,
who says that he hath the Holy Spir-
it. And believe the Spirit which
comes from God, and has power as
such. But believe not the earthly and
empty spirit, which is from the devil,
in whom there is no faith nor virtue.
13 Hear now the similitude which I
am about to speak unto thee. Take a
stone, and throw it up towards heav-
en; or take a spout of water, and
mount it up thitherward; and see if
thou canst reach unto heaven.
14 Sir; said I, how can this be done?
For neither of those things which
you have mentioned, are possible to
be done. And he answered, There-
fore as these things cannot be done,
so is the earthy spirit without virtue,
and without effect.
15 Understand yet farther the power
which cometh from above, in this
similitude. The grains of hail that
drop down are exceedingly small;
and yet when they fall upon the head
of a man, how do they cause pain to
16 And again, consider, the drop-
pings of a house; how the little
drops falling upon the earth, work a
hollow in the stones.
17 So in like manner the least things
which come from above, and fall
upon the earth, have great force.
Wherefore join thyself to this spirit,
which has the power; and depart
from the other which is empty.
H E R M A S
Of a two fold desire: that the commands
of God, are not impossible: and that the
devil is not to be feared by them that be-
AGAIN he said unto me; remove
from thee all evil desires, and put on
good and holy desires. For having
put on a good desire, thou shalt hate
that which is evil, and bridle it as
thou wilt. But an evil desire is dread-
ful, and hard to be tamed.
2 It is very horrible and wild; and
by its wildness consumes men. And
especially if a servant of God shall
chance to fall into it, except he be
very wise, he is ruined by it. For it
destroys those who have not the gar-
ment of a good desire and are en-
gaged in the affairs of this present
world; and delivers them unto death.
3 Sir, said I, what are the works of
an evil desire, which bring men unto
death? Shew them to me that I may
depart from them. Hear, said he, by
what works an evil desire bringeth
the servants of God unto death.
4 First of all, it is an evil desire to
covet another man's wife, or for a
woman to covet another's husband;
as also to desire the dainties of
riches; and multitude of superfluous
meats; and drunkenness; and many
5 For in much delicacy there is
folly; and many pleasures are need-
less to the servants of God. Such
lusting therefore is evil and perni-
cious, which brings to death the ser-
vants of God. For all such lusting is
from the devil.
6 Whosoever therefore shall depart
from all evil desires, shall live unto
God; but they that are subject unto
them shall die forever. For this evil
lusting is deadly. Do thou therefore
put on the desire of righteousness,
and being armed with the fear of the
Lord resist all wicked lusting.
7 For this fear dwelleth in good de-
sires; and, when evil coveting shall
see thee armed with the fear of the
Lord, and resisting it; it will fly far
from thee, and not appear before
thee, but be afraid of thy armour.
8 And thou shall have the victory,
and be crowned for it; and shall at-
tain to that desire which is good; and
shall give the victory which thou
hast obtained unto God, and shall
serve him in doing what thou thyself
9 For if thou shalt serve good de-
sires, and be subject to them; then
thou shalt be able to get the domin-
ion over thy wicked lustings; and
they will be subject to thee, as thou
10 And I said, Sir, I would know
how to serve that desire which is
good? Hearken, said he, Fear God,
and put thy trust in him, and love
truth, and righteousness, and do that
which is good.
10 If thou shalt do these things,
thou shall be an approved servant of
God, and serve him; and all others
who shall in like manner serve a
good desire, shall live unto God.
12 And when he had fulfilled these
twelve commands, he said unto me,
Thou hast now these commands,
walk in them; and exhort those that
hear them, to repent, and that they
keep their repentance pure all the re-
maining days of their life.
13 And fulfil diligently this ministry
which I commit to thee, and thou
shalt receive great advantage by it,
and find favour with all such as shall
repent and believe thy words. For I
am with thee, and will force them to
14 And I said unto him, Sir, these
commands are great and excellent,
and able to cheer the heart of that
man that shall be able to keep them.
H E R M A S
But, Sir, I cannot tell, whether they
can be observed by any man?
15 He answered, Thou shalt easily
keep these commands, and they shall
not be hard: howbeit, if thou shalt
suffer it once to enter into thine
heart that they cannot be kept by any
one, thou shalt not fulfil them.
16 But now I say unto thee, if thou
shalt not observe these commands,
and shall neglect them, thou shalt
not be saved, nor thy children, nor
thy house: because thou hast judged
that these commands cannot be kept
17 These things he spake very an-
grily unto me, insomuch that he
greatly affrighted me, for he changed
his countenance so that a man could
not bear his anger.
18 And when he saw me altogether
troubled and confounded, he began
to speak more moderately and cheer-
fully, saying, O foolish, and without
19 Unconstant, not knowing the
majesty of God how great and won-
derful he is; who created the world
for man, and hath made every
creature subject unto him; and given
him all power, that he should be able
to fulfil all these commands.
20 He is able, said he, to fulfil all
these commands, who has the Lord
in his heart; but they who have the
Lord only in their mouths, their
hearts are hardened, and they are far
from the Lord: to such persons these
commands are hard and difficult.
21 Therefore, ye that are empty and
light in the faith, put the Lord your
God in your hearts; and ye shall per-
ceive how that nothing is more easy
than these commands, nor more
pleasant, nor more gentle and holy.
22 And turn yourselves to the Lord
your God, and forsake the devil and
his pleasures, because they are evil,
and bitter, and impure. And fear not
the devil, because he has no power
23 For I am with you, the messenger
of repentance, who have the domin-
ion over him. The devil doth indeed
affright men but his terror is vain.
Wherefore fear him not, and he will
flee from you.
24 And I said unto him; Sir, hear me
speak a few words unto you. He
answered, Say on: A man indeed de-
sires to keep the commandments of
God, and there is no one but what
prays unto God, that he may be able
to keep his commandments;
25 But the devil is hard, and by his
power rules over the servants of
God. And he said; He cannot rule
over the servants of God, who trust
in him with all their hearts.
26 The devil may strive, but he can-
not overcome them.
27 For if ye resist him, he will flee
away with confusion from you. But
they that are not full in the faith,
fear the devil, as if he had some
great power. For the devil tries the
servants of God and if he finds
them empty, he destroys them.
28 For as man, when he fills up ves-
sels with good wine, and among
them puts a few vessels half full,
and comes to try and taste of the
vessels, doth not try those that are
full, because he knows that they are
good, but tastes those that are half
full, lest they should grow sour; (for
vessels half full soon grow sour, and
lose the taste of wine:) so the devil
comes to the servants of God to try
29 They that are full of faith resist
him stoutly, and he departs from
them, because he finds no place
where to enter into them then he
goes to those that are not full of
faith, and because he has a place of
H E R M A S
entrance he goes into them, and does
what he will with them, and they be-
come his servants.
30 But I, the messenger of repent-
ance, say unto you, fear not the dev-
il, for I am sent unto you, that I may
be with you, as many as shall repent
with your whole heart, and that I
may confirm you in the faith.
31 Believe therefore, ye who by
reason of your transgressions have
forgot God. and your own salvation;
and adding to your sins have made
your life very heavy.
32 That if ye shall turn to the Lord
with your whole hearts, and shall
serve him according to his will; he
will heal you of your former sins,
and ye shall have dominion over all
the works of the devil.
33 Be not then afraid in the least of
his threatenings, for they are without
force, as the nerves of a dead man.
But hearken unto me, and fear the
Lord Almighty, who is able to save
and to destroy you; and keep his
commands, that ye may live unto
34 And I said unto him; Sir, I am
now confirmed in all the commands
of the Lord whilst you are with me,
and I know that you will break all
the powers of the devil.
35 And we also shall overcome him,
if we shall be able, through the help
of the Lord, to keep these com-
mands which you have delivered.
36 Thou shalt keep them, said he, if
thou shalt purify thy heart towards
the Lord. And all they also shall
keep them who shall cleanse their
hearts from the vain desires of the
present world, and shall live unto
THE THIRD PART OF THE BOOK OF
HERMAS, CALLED HIS SIMILIT-
That seeing we have no abiding city in
this world, we ought to look after that
which is to come.
AND he said onto me; Ye know that
ye who are the servants of the Lord,
live here as in a pilgrimage; for your
city is far off from this city.
2 If, therefore, ye know your city in
which ye are to dwell, why do ye
here buy estates, and provide
yourselves with delicacies, and
stately buildings, and supurfluous
houses? For he that provides himself
these things in this city, does not
think of returning into his own city.
3 O foolish, and doubtful, and
wretched man; who understandest
not that all these things belong to
other men, and are under the power
of another. For the Lord of this city
saith unto thee; Either obey my laws,
or depart out of my city.
4 What therefore shalt thou do who
art subject to a law in thine own
city? Canst thou for thy estate, or
for any of those things which thou
hast provided, deny thy law? But if
thou shalt deny it, and wilt after-
wards return into thy own city, thou
shalt not be received, but shall be
5 See therefore, that like a man in
another country, thou procure no
more to thyself than what is neces-
sary, and sufficient for thee; and be
ready, that when the God or Lord of
this city shall drive thee out of it
thou mayest oppose his law, and go
into thine own city; where thou may-
est with all cheerfulness live accord-
ing to thine own law with no wrong.
6 Take heed therefore ye that serve
God, and have him in your hearts:
work ye the works of God, being
mindful both of his commands and
H E R M A S
of his promises, which he has prom-
ised; and be assured that he will
make them good unto you; if ye shall
keep his commandments.
7 Instead therefore of the posses-
sions that ye would otherwise pur-
chase, redeem those that are in want
from their necessities, as every one
is able; justify the widows; judge the
cause of the fatherless; and spend
your riches and your wealth in such
works as these.
8 For this end has God enriched
you, that ye might fulfil these kind
of services. It is much better to do
this, than to buy lands or houses; be-
cause all such things shall perish
with this present time.
9 But what ye shall do for the name
of the Lord, ye shall find in your
city, and shall have joy without sad-
ness or fear. Wherefore covet not
the riches of the heathen; for they
are destructive to the servants of
10 But trade with your own riches
which you possess, by which ye may
attain unto everlasting joy.
11 And do not commit adultery, nor
touch any other man's wife, nor de-
sire her; but covet that which is thy
own business, and thou shalt be
As the vine is supported bj the elm, so is
the rich man helped by the prayers of the
AS I was walking into the field, and
considered the elm and the vine, and
thought with myself of their fruits,
an angel appeared unto me, and said
unto me; What is it that thou
thinkest upon thus long within thy-
2 And I said unto him, Sir, I think
of this vine and this elm because
their fruits are fair. And he said unto
me; These two trees are set for a
pattern to the servants of God.
3 And I said unto him, Sir, I would
know in what the pattern of these
trees which thou mentionest, does
consist. Hearken, saith he; seest thou
this vine and this elm? Sir, said I, I
4 This vine, saith he, is fruitful, but
the elm is a tree without fruit. Nev-
ertheless this vine unless it were set
by this elm, and supported by it,
would not bear much fruit; but lying
along upon the ground, would bear
but ill fruit, because it did not hang
upon the elm; whereas, being sup-
ported upon the elm, it bears fruit
both for itself and for that.
5 See, therefore, how the elm gives
no less, but rather more fruit, than
the vine. How, Sir, said I, does it
bear more fruit than the vine? Be-
cause, said he, the vine being sup-
ported upon the elm gives both
much and good fruit; whereas, if it
lay along upon the ground, it would
bear but little, and that very ill too.
6 This similitude, therefore, is set
forth to the servants of God; and it
represents the rich and poor man. I
answered, Sir, make this manifest
unto me. Hear, said he; the rich man
has wealth: howbeit towards the
Lord he is poor; for he is taken up
about his riches, and prays but little
to the Lord; and the prayers which
he makes are lazy and without force.
7 When therefore, the rich man
reaches out to the poor those things
which he wants, the poor man prays
unto the Lord for the rich; and God
grants unto the rich man all good
things, because the poor man is rich
in prayer; and his requests have great
power with the Lord.
8 Then the rich man ministers all
thing to the poor, because he per-
ceives that he is heard by the Lord;
H E R M A S
and he the more willingly and
without doubting, affords him what
he wants, and takes care that nothing
be lacking to him.
9 And the poor man gives thanks
unto the Lord for the rich; because
they both do their work from the
10 With men, therefore, the elm is
not thought to give any fruit; and
they know not, neither understand
that its company being added to the
vine, the vine bears a double in-
crease, both for itself and for the
11 Even so the poor praying unto
the Lord for the rich, are heard by
him; and their riches are increased,
because they minister to the poor of
their wealth. They are, therefore,
both made partakers of each other's
12 Whosoever, therefore, shall do
these things, he shall not be forsaken
by the Lord, but shall be written in
the book of life.
13 Happy are they who are rich, and
perceive themselves to be increased:
for he that is sensible of this, will be
able to minister somewhat to others.
As the greet trees in the winter cannot be
distinguished from the dry; so neither can
the righteous from the wicked in this
AGAIN he showed me many trees
whose leaves were shed, and which
seemed to me to be withered, for
they were all alike. And he said unto
me, Seest thou these trees? I said,
Sir, I see that they look like dry
2 He answering, said unto me;
These trees are like unto the men
who live in the present world. I
replied: Sir, why are they like unto
dried trees? Because, said he, neither
the righteous, nor unrighteous, are
known from one another; but all are
alike in this present world.
3 For this world is as the winter to
the righteous men, because they are
not known, but dwell among sinners.
4 As in the winter all the trees hav-
ing lost their leaves, are like dry
trees; nor can it be discerned which
are dry and which are green: so in
this present world neither the right-
eous, nor wicked are discerned from
each other; but they are all alike.
As in the summer the living trees are dis-
tinguished from the dry by their fruit and
green leaves; so in the world to come the
righteous shall be distinguished from the
unrighteous bj their happiness.
AGAIN he showed me many other
trees, of which some had leaves, and
others appeared dry and withered.
And he said unto me, Seest thou
these trees I answered, Sir, I see
them; some are dry, and others full
2 These trees, saith be, which are
green, are the righteous, who shall
possess the world to come. For the
world to come, is the summer to the
righteous; but to sinners it is the
3 When, therefore, the mercy of the
Lord shall shine forth, then they
who serve God shall be made mani-
fest, and plain unto all. For as in the
summer the fruit of every tree is
shown and made manifest, so also
the works of the righteous shall be
declared and made manifest, and
they shall all be restored in that
world merry and joyful.
4 For the other kind of men, namely
the wicked, like the trees which thou
rawest dry, shall, as such, be found
dry and without fruit in that other
world; and like dry wood shall be
H E R M A S
burnt; and it shall be made manifest
that they have done evil all the time
of their life;
5 And they shall be burnt because
they have sinned and have not repen-
ted of their sins. And also all the
other nations shall be burnt, because
they have not acknowledged God
6 Do then, therefore, bring forth
good fruit, that in the summer thy
fruit may be known; and keep thyself
from much business, and thou shalt
not offend. For they who are in-
volved in much business, sin much;
because they are taken up with their
affairs, and serve not God.
7 And how can a man that does not
serve God, ask anything of God, and
receive it? But they who serve him,
ask and receive what they desire.
8 But if a man has only one thing to
follow, he may serve God, because
his mind is not taken off from God,
but he serves him with a pure mind.
9 If, therefore, thou shalt do this,
thou mayest have fruit in the world
to come; and as many as shall do in
like manner, shall bring forth fruit.
Of a true fast, and the rewards of it:
also of the cleanliness of the body.
AS I was fasting, and sitting down
in a certain mountain, and giving
thanks unto God for all the things
that he had done unto me; behold, I
saw the Shepherd, who was wont to
converse with me, sitting by me, and
saying unto me: What has brought
thee hither thus early in the morn-
ing? I answered, Sir, to-day I keep a
2 He answered, What is a station; I
replied, it is a fast. He said, What is
that fast? I answered, I fast as I have
been wont to do. Ye know not, said
he, what it is to fast unto God; nor
is this a fast which ye keep, profiting
nothing with God.
3 Sir, said I, what makes you speak
thus? He replied, I speak it, because
it is not the true fast which you
think that you keep; but I will show
you what that is which is a complete
fast, and acceptable unto God.
4 Hearken, said he, The Lord does
not desire such a needless fast; for
by fasting in this manner, thou ad-
vancest nothing in righteousness.
5 But the true fast is this: Do noth-
ing wickedly in thy life, but serve
God with a pure mind; and keep his
commandments, and walk according
to his precepts, nor suffer any
wicked desire to enter into the mind.
6 But trust in the Lord, that if thou
dost these things, any fearest him,
and abstaineth from every evil work,
thou shall live unto God.
7 If thou shalt do this, thou shall
perfect a great fast, and an accept-
able one unto the Lord.
8 Hearken unto the similitude which
I am about to propose unto thee, as
to this matter.
9 A certain man having a farm, and
many servants, planted a vineyard in
a certain part of his estate for his
10 And taking a journey into a far
country, chose one of his servants
which he thought the most faithful
and approved, and delivered the
vineyard into his care; commanding
him that he should stake up the
vines. Which if he did, and fulfilled
his command, he promised to give
him his liberty. Nor did he command
him to do any thing more; and so
went into a far country.
11 And after that servant had taken
that charge upon him, he did what-
soever his lord commanded him. And
when he had staked the vineyard,
and found it to be full of weeds, he
H E R M A S
began to think within himself, say-
12 I have done what my lord com-
manded me, I will now dig this vine-
yard, and when it is digged, it will be
more beautiful; and the weeds being
pulled up, it will bring forth more
fruit and not be choked by the
13 So setting about this work he
digged it, and plucked up all the
weeds that were in it; and so the
vineyard became very beautiful and
prosperous, not being choked with
14 After some time the lord of the
vineyard comes and goes into the
vineyard, and when he saw that it
was handsomely staked and digged,
and the weeds plucked up that were
in it, and the vines flourishing, he
rejoiced greatly at the care of his
15 And calling his son whom he
loved, and who was to be his heir,
and his friends with whom he was
wont to consult; he tells them what
he had commanded his servant to do,
and what his servant had done more;
and they immediately congratulated
that servant, that he had received so
full a testimony from his lord.
16 Then he said to them, I indeed
promised this servant his liberty, if
he observed the command which I
gave him; and he observed it, and
besides has done a good work to my
vineyard, which has exceedingly
17 Wherefore, for this work which
he hath done, I will make him my
heir together with my son; because
that when he saw what was good, he
neglected it not, but did it.
18 This design of the lord both his
son and his friends approved,
namely, that his servant should be
heir together with his son.
19 Not long after this the master of
the family calling together, his
friends, sent from his supper several
kinds of food to that servant.
20 Which when he had received, he
took so much of them as was suffi-
cient for himself, and divided the
rest among his fellow-servants.
21 Which when they had received,
they rejoiced; and wished that he
might find yet greater favour with
his lord, for what he had done to
22 When his lord heard all these
things, he was again filled with great
joy: and calling again his friends and
his son together, he related to them
what his servant had done with the
meats which he had sent unto him.
23 They therefore so much the more
assented to the master of the house-
hold; and he ought to make that ser-
vant his heir together with his son.
24 I said unto him, sir, I know not
these smilitudes, neither can I under-
stand them, unless you expound
them unto me. I will, says he, ex-
pound, all things unto thee whatso-
ever I have talked with thee, or
shown unto thee.
25 Keep the commandments of the
Lord and thou shalt be approved,
and shall be written in the number
of those that keep his command-
ments. But if besides those things
which the Lord hath commanded,
thou shalt add some good thing;
thou shall purchase to thyself a
greater dignity, and be in more fa-
vour with the Lord than thou
shouldst otherwise have been.
26 If therefore thou shalt keep the
commandments of the Lord, and
shalt add to them these stations,
thou shall rejoice; but especially if
thou shalt keep them according to
H E R M A S
27 I said unto him, sir, whatsoever
thou shah command me, I will ob-
serve; for I know that thou wilt be
with me. I will, said he, be with thee
who hast taken up such a resolution;
and I will be with all those who pur-
pose in like manner.
28 This fast, saith he, whilst thou
dost also observe the command-
ments of the Lord, is exceeding
good; therefore thus shalt thou keep
29 First of all, take heed to thyself,
and keep thyself from every wicked
act, and from every filthy word, and
from every hurtful desire; and purify
thy mind from all the vanity of this
present world. If thou shalt observe
these things, this fast shall be right.
30 Thus therefore do. Having per-
formed what is before written, that
day on which thou fastest thou shalt
taste nothing at all but bread and
water; and computing the quantity of
food which thou art want to eat
upon other days, thou shalt lay aside
the expense which thou shouldest
have made that day, and give it unto
the widow, the fatherless, and the
31 And thus thou shalt perfect the
humiliation of thy soul; that he who
receives of it may satisfy his soul,
and his prayer come up to the Lord
God for thee.
32 If therefore thou shalt thus ac-
complish thy fast, as I command
thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable
unto the Lord, and thy fast shall be
written in his book.
33 This station, thus performed, is
good and pleasing and acceptable
unto the Lord. These things if thou
shalt observe with thy children and
with all thy house, thou shalt be
34 And whosoever, when they hear
these things, shall do them, they also
shall be happy; and whatsoever they
shall ask of the Lord they shall re-
35 And I prayed him that he would
expound unto me the similitude of
the farm, and the Lord, and of the
vineyard, and of the servant that had
staked the vineyard; and of the
weeds that were plucked out of the
vineyard; and of his son and his
friends which he took into counsel
with him; for I understand that that
was a similitude.
36 He said unto me, Thou art very
bold in asking; for thou oughtest not
to ask any thing; because if it be fit-
ting to show it unto thee, it shall be
showed unto thee.
37 I answered him; Sir, whatsoever
thou shalt show me, without explain-
ing it unto me, I shall in vain see it,
if I do not understand what it is.
And if thou shalt propose any simil-
itudes, and not expound them, I
shall in vain hear them.
38 He answered me again, saying:
Whosoever is the servant of God,
and has the Lord in his heart, he de-
sires understanding of him, and re-
ceives it; and he explains every simil-
itude, and understands the words of
the Lord which need an inquiry.
39 But they that are lazy and slow
to pray, doubt to seek from the
Lord: although the Lord be of such
an extraordinary goodness, that
without ceasing he giveth all things
to them that ask of him.
40 Thou therefore who art
strengthened by that venerable mes-
senger, and hast received such a
powerful gift of prayer; seeing thou
art not slothful, why dost thou not
now ask understanding of the Lord,
and receive it?
41 I said unto him; seeing I have
thee present, it is necessary that I
should seek it of thee, and ask thee;
H E R M A S
for thou shewest all things unto me,
and speakest to me when thou art
42 But if I should see or hear these
things when thou wert not present, I
would then ask the Lord that he
would chew them unto me.
43 And he replied, I said a little be-
fore that thou wert subtle and bold,
in that thou asketh the meaning of
44 But because thou still persistest,
I will unfold to thee this parable
which then desirest, that thou mayest
make it known unto all men.
45 Hear, therefore, said he, and un-
derstand. The farm before men-
tioned denotes the whole earth. The
Lord of the farm is he, who created
and finished all things; and gave vir-
tue unto them.
46 His son is the Holy Spirit; the
servant is the Son of God: the vine-
yard is the people whom he saves.
The stakes are the messengers which
are set oven them by the Lord, to
support his people. The weeds that
are plucked up out of the vineyard,
are the sins which the servants of
God had committed.
47 The food which he sent him
from his supper, are the commands
which he gave to his people by his
Son. The friends whom he called to
counsel with him, are the holy angels
whom he first created. The absence
of the master of the household, is
the time that remains unto his com-
48 I said unto him, Sir, all these
things are very excellent, and won-
derful, and good. But, continued I,
could I or any other man besides,
though never so wise, have under-
stood these things?
49 Wherefore now, sir, tell me, what
I ask. He replied, ask me what thou
wilt. Why, said I, is the Son of God
in this parable, put in the place of a
50 Hearken, he said: the Son of
God is not put in the condition of a
servant, but in great power and au-
thority. I said unto him, how, sir? I
understand it not.
51 Because, said he, the Son set his
messengers over those whom the
Father delivered unto him, to keep
every one of them; but he himself
laboured very much, and suffered
much, that he might blot out their
52 For no vineyard can be digged
without much labour and pains.
Wherefore having blotted out the
sins of his people, he showed to
them the paths of life, giving them
the law which he had received of the
53 You see, said he, that he is the
Lord of his people, having received
all power from his Father. But why
the lord did take his son into coun-
sel, about dividing the inheritance,
and the good angels, hear now.
54 That Holy Spirit, which was cre-
ated first of all, he placed in the
body in which God should dwell;
namely, in a chosen body, as it
seemed good to him. This body
therefore into which the Holy Spirit
was brought, served that Spirit,
walking rightly and purely in mod-
esty; nor ever defiled that Spirit.
55 Seeing therefore the body at all
times obeyed the Holy Spirit, and la-
boured rightly and chastely with him,
nor faltered at anytime; that body
being wearied conversed indeed
servilely, but being mightily ap-
proved to God with the Holy Spirit,
was accepted by him.
56 For such a stout course pleased
God, because he was not defiled in
the earth, keeping the Holy Spirit.
He called therefore to counsel his
H E R M A S
Son, and the good angels, that there
might be some place of standing giv-
en to this body which had served the
Holy Spirit without blame; lest it
should seem to have lost the reward
of its service.
57 For every pure body shall receive
its reward; that is found without
spot, in which the Holy Spirit has
been appointed to dwell. And thus
you have now the exposition of this
58 Sir, said I, I now understand
your meaning, since I have heard this
exposition. Hearken farther, said he:
keep this thy body clean and pure,
that the Spirit which shall dwell in it
may bear witness unto it, and be
judged to have been with thee.
59 Also take heed that it be not in-
stilled into thy mind that this body
perishes, and thou abuse it to any
lust. For if thou shalt defile thy
body, thou shalt also at the same
time defile the Holy Spirit; and if
thou shalt defile the Holy Spirit,
thou shall not live.
60 And I said, What if through ig-
norance this should have been
already committed, before a man
heard these words; How can he at-
tain into salvation, who has thus de-
filed his body?
61 He replied, As for men's former
actions which through ignorance
they have committed, God only can
afford a remedy unto them; for all
the power belongeth unto him.
62 But now guard thyself; and see-
ing God is almighty and merciful, he
will grant a remedy to what thou
hast formerly done amiss, if for the
time, to come thou shalt not defile
thy body and spirit:
63 For they are companions togeth-
er, and the one cannot be defiled but
the other will be so too. Keep there-
fore both of them pure, and thou
shalt live unto God.
Of two sorts of voluptuous men, and of
their death and defection; and of the con-
tinuance of their pains.
AS I was sitting at home, and prais-
ing God for all the things which I
had seen; and was thinking concern-
ing the commands, that they were ex-
ceedingly good, and great, and hon-
est, and pleasant, and such as were
able to bring a man to salvation; I
said thus within myself, I shall be
happy if I walk according to these
commands; and whosoever shall walk
in them shall live unto God.
2 Whilst I was speaking on this wise
within myself, I saw him whom I had
before been wont to see, sitting by
me; and he spake thus unto me:
3 What doubtest thou concerning
my commands which I have delivered
unto thee? They are good, doubt not,
but trust in the Lord, and thou shalt
walk in them; for I will give thee
strength to fulfil them.
4 These commands are profitable to
those who shall repent of the sins
which they have formerly committed;
if for the time to come they shall
not continue in them.
5 Whosoever therefore ye be that
repent, cast away from you the
naughtiness of the present world;
and put on all virtue, and righteous-
ness, and so shall ye be able to keep
these commands; and not sin from
henceforth any more.
6 For if ye shall keep yourselves
from sin for the time to come, ye
shall cut off a great deal of your
former sins. Walk in my commands,
and ye shall live unto God: These
things have I spoken unto you.
7 And when he, had said this, he ad-
ded; let us go into the field, and I
H E R M A S
will show thee shepherds of sheep. I
replied, sir, let us go.
8 And we came into a certain field,
and there he showed me a young
shepherd, finely arrayed, with his
garments of a purple colour. And he
fed large flocks; and his sheep were
full of pleasure, and in much delight
and cheerfulness; and they skipping,
ran here and there.
9 And the shepherd took very great
satisfaction in his flock; and the
countenance of that shepherd was
cheerful, running up and down
among his flock.
10 Then the angel said unto me,
Seest then this shepherd? I
answered, sir, I see him. He said
unto me, this is the messenger of
delight and pleasure. He therefore
corrupts the minds of the servants
of God, and turns them from the
truth, delighting them with many
pleasures, and they perish.
11 For they forget the commands of
the living God, and live in luxury
and in vain pleasures, and are cor-
rupted by the evil angel, some of
them even unto death; and others to
a falling away.
12 I replied; I understand not what
you mean, by saying unto death, and
to a falling away. Hear, says he; all
those sheep which thou sawest ex-
ceeding joyful, are such as have for
ever departed from God, and given
selves up to the lusts of this present
13 To these therefore there is no re-
turn, by repentance, unto life; be-
cause, to their other sins they have
added this, that they have blas-
phemed the name of the lord: These
kind of men are ordained unto
14 But those sheep which thou saw-
est not leaping, but feeding in one
place; are such as have indeed given
themselves up to pleasure and de-
lights; but have not spoken anything
wickedly against the Lord.
15 These therefore are only fallen
off from the truth, and so have yet
hope laid up for them in repentance.
For such a falling off hath some
hope still left of a renewal; but they
that are dead, are utterly gone for
16 Again we went a little farther
forward, and he showed me a great
shepherd, who had as it were a rustic
figure; clad with a white goat's skin,
having his bag upon his shoulder,
and in his hand a stick full of knots,
and very hard, and a whip in his oth-
er hand; and his countenance was
stern and sour, enough to affright a
man; such was his look.
17 He took from that young shep-
herd such sheep as lived in pleasures,
but did not skip up and down; and
drove them into a certain steep
craggy place fall of thorns and bri-
ars, insomuch that they could not get
themselves free from them:
18 But being entangled in them, fed
upon thorns and briars, and were
grievously tormented with his whip-
ping. For he still drove them on, and
afforded them not any place, or time,
to stand still.
19 When therefore I saw them so
cruelly whipped and afflicted, I was
grieved for them; because they were
greatly tormented, nor had they any
rest afforded them.
20 And I said unto the shepherd
that was with me: Sir, who is this
cruel and implacable shepherd, who
is moved with no compassion to-
wards these sheep? He answered,
This shepherd is indeed one of the
holy angels, but is appointed for the
punishment of sinners.
21 To him therefore are delivered
those who have erred from God, and
H E R M A S
served the lusts and pleasures of this
world. For this cause he punishes
them every one according to their
deserts, with cruel and various kinds
22 Sir, said I, I would know what
kind of pains they are which every
one undergoes? Hearken, said he;
The several pains and torments are
those which men every day undergo
in their present lives. For some suf-
fer losses; others poverty; others
divers sicknesses. Some are un-
settled; others suffer injuries from
those that are unworthy; others fall
under many other trials and incon-
23 For many with an unsettled
design at many things, and it
profiteth them not; and they say that
they have not success in their under-
24 They do not call to their mind
what they have done amiss, and they
complain of the Lord. When there-
fore they shall have undergone all
kind of vexation and inconvenience;
then they are delivered over to me
for good instruction, and are con-
firmed in the Faith of the Lord, and
serve the Lord all the rest of their
days with a pure mind.
25 And when they begin to repent
of their sins, then they call to mind
their works which they have done
amiss, and give honour to God, say-
ing, that he is a just Judge, and they
have deservedly suffered all things
according to their deeds.
26 Then for what remains of their
lives, they serve God with a pure
mind; and have success in all their
undertakings, and receive from the
Lord whatever they desire.
27 And then they give thanks unto
the Lord that they were delivered
unto me; nor do they suffer any
28 I said unto him; Sir, I entreat you
still to show me now one thing.
What, said he, dost thou ask? I said
unto him; Are they who depart from
the fear of God, tormented for the
same time that they enjoyed their
false delight and pleasures? He
answered me; they are tormented for
the same time.
29 And I said unto him; They are
then tormented but little; whereas
they who enjoy their pleasures so as
to forget God, ought to endure sev-
en times as much punishment.
30 He answered me; Thou art fool-
ish, neither understandest thou the
efficacy of this punishment. I said
unto him; Sir, if I understood it, I
would not desire you to tell me.
31 Hearken, said he, and learn what
the force of both is, both of the
pleasure and of the punishment. An
hour of pleasure is terminated with-
in its own space: but one hour of
punishment has the efficacy of thirty
days, a Whosoever therefore enjoys
his false pleasure for one day, and is
one day, tormented; that one day of
punishment is equivalent to a whole
32 Thus look how many days any
one pursues his pleasures, so many
years is he punished for it. You see
therefore how that the time of
worldly enjoyments is but short; but
that of pain and torments, a great
33 I replied; Sir, forasmuch as I do
not understand at all these times of
pleasure and pain; I entreat you that
you would explain yourself more
clearly concerning them. He
answered me, saying; Thy foolishness
still sticks unto thee.
34. Shouldst thou not rather purify
thy mind, and serve God? Take heed,
lest when thy time is fulfilled, thou
be found still unwise. Hear then, as
H E R M A S
thou desirest, that thou mayest the
more easily understand.
35 He that gives himself up one day
to his pleasures and delights, and
does whatsoever his soul desires, is
full of great folly, nor understands
what he does, but the day following
forgets what he did the day before.
36 For delight and worldly pleasure
are not kept in memory, by reason of
the folly that is rooted in them. But
when pain and torment befal a man a
day, he is in effect troubled the
whole year after; because his punish-
ment continues firm in his memory.
37 Wherefore he remembers it with
sorrow the whole year; and then calls
to mind his vain pleasure and de-
light, and perceives that for the sake
of that he was punished.
38 Whosoever therefore have de-
livered themselves over to such
pleasures, are thus punished; because
that when they had life, they
rendered themselves liable to death.
39 I said unto him; Sir, what pleas-
ures are hurtful? He answered; That
is pleasure to every man which he
40 For the angry man, gratifying his
passion, perceives pleasure in it; and
so the adulterer, and drunkard; the
slanderer and liar; the covetous man
and the defrauder; and whosoever
commits anything like unto these, he
followeth his evil disposition, be-
cause he receives a satisfaction in
the doing of it.
41 All these pleasures and delights
are hurtful to the servants of God.
For these therefore they are tormen-
ted and suffer punishment.
42 There are also pleasures that
bring salvation unto men. For many,
when they do what is good, find
pleasure in it, and are attracted by
the delights of it.
43 Now this pleasure is profitable
to the servants of God, and brings
life to such men; but those hurtful
pleasures, which were before men-
tioned, bring torments and punish-
44 And whosoever shall continue in
them, and shall not repent of what
they have done, shall bring death
That they who repent, must bring forth,
fruits worthy of repent once.
AFTER a few days I saw the same
person that before talked with me, in
the same field, in which I had seen
those shepherds, And he said unto
me; What seekest thou? Sir, said I, I
came to entreat you that You would
command the shepherd, who is the
minister of punishment, to depart
out of my house, because he greatly
3 And he answered, It is necessary
for thee to endure inconveniencies
and vexations; for so that good angel
hath commanded concerning thee,
because he would try thee.
4 Sir, said I; What so great offence
have I committed, that I should be
delivered to this messenger?
Hearken, said he: Thou art indeed
guilty of many sins, yet not so many
that thou shouldest be delivered to
5 But thy house hath committed
many sins and offences, and there-
fore that good messenger being
grieved at their doings commanded
that for some time thou shouldst
suffer affliction; that they may both
repent of what they have done, and
may wash themselves from all the
lusts of this present world.
6 When therefore they shall have re-
pented, and be purified, then that
messenger which is appointed over
H E R M A S
thy punishment, shall depart from
7 I said unto him; Sir, if they have
behaved themselves so as to anger
that good angel, yet what have I
done? He answered: They cannot
otherwise be afflicted, unless thou,
who art the head of the family, suf-
8 For whatsoever thou shalt suffer,
they must needs feel it but as long as
thou shalt stand well established,
they cannot experience any vexation.
9 I replied; But, sir, behold they
also now repent with all their hearts.
I know, says he, that they repent
with all their hearts; but dost thou
therefore think that their offences
who repent, are immediately blotted
10 No, they are not presently; but
he that repents must afflict his soul
and show himself humble in all his
affairs, and undergo many and divers
11 And when he shall have suffered
all things that were appointed for
him; then perhaps HE that made
him, and formed all things besides,
will be moved with compassion to-
wards him, and afford him some
remedy; and especially if HE shall
perceive his heart who repents, to be
free from every evil work.
12 But at present it is expedient for
thee, and for thy house, to be
grieved; and it is needful that thou
shoudest endure much vexation, as
the angel of the Lord who commit-
ted thee unto me, has commanded.
13 Rather give thanks unto the
Lord, that knowing what was to
come he thought thee worthy, to
whom he should foretel that trouble
was coming upon thee, who art able
to bear it.
14 I said unto him; Sir, but be thou
also with me, and I shall easily un-
dergo any trouble. I will, said he, be
with thee; and I will entreat the mes-
senger who is set over thy punish-
ment, that he would moderate his af-
flictions towards thee.
15 And moreover thou shalt suffer
adversity but for a little time; and
then thou shalt again be restored to
thy former state; only continue on in
the humility of thy mind.
16 Obey the Lord with a pure heart;
thou, and thy house, and thy chil-
dren; and. walk in the commands
which I have delivered unto thee;
and then thy repentance may be firm
17 And if thou shalt keep these
things with thy house, thy inconveni-
encies shall depart from thee.
18 And all vexation shall in like
manner depart from those, whoso-
ever shall walk according to these
That there are many kinds of elect, and
of repenting sinners: and how all of theca
shall receive a reward proportionable to
the measure of their repentance and good
AGAIN he showed me a willow
which covered the fields and the
mountains, under whose shadow
came all such as were called by the
name of the Lord.
2 And by that willow stood an. an-
gel of the Lord very excellent and
lofty, and did cut down bows from
the willow with a great hook; and
reached out to the people that were
under the shadow of the willow,
little rods, as it were about a foot
3 And when all of them had taken
them, he laid aside his hook, and the
tree continued entire, as I had before
seen it; at which I wondered, and
mused within myself.
H E R M A S
4 Then that shepherd said unto me;
Forbear to wonder that the tree con-
tinues whole, not-with-standing so
many boughs have been cut off from
it: but stay a little, for now it shall
be shown thee, what that angel
means, who gave those rods to the
5 So he again demanded the rods of
them; and in the same order that
every one had received them, was he
called to him, and restored his rod;
which when he had received, he ex-
6 From some he received them dry
and rotten, and as it were touched
with the moth; those he commanded
to be separated from the rest, and
placed by themselves. Others gave in
their rods dry indeed, but not
touched with the moth: these also he
ordered to be set by themselves.
7 Others gave in their rods half dry;
these also were set apart, Others
gave in their rods half dry and cleft;
these too were set by themselves.
Others brought in their rods half dry
and half green, and these were in
like manner placed by themselves.
8 Others delivered up their rods two
parts green, and the third dry; and
they too were set apart. Others
brought their rods two parts dry, and
the third green; and were also placed
9 Others delivered up their rods less
dry (for there was but a very little,
to wit, their tops dry), but they had
clefts, and these were set in like
manner by themselves. In the rods
of others there was but a little
green, and the rest dry; and these
were set aside by themselves.
10 Others came, and brought their
rods green as they had received
them, and the greatest part of the
people brought their rods thus; and
the messenger greatly rejoiced at
these, and they also were put apart
11 Others brought in their rods not
only green, but full of branches; and
these were set aside, being also re-
ceived by the angel with great joy.
Others brought their rods green with
branches, and those also some fruit
12 They who had such rods, were
very cheerful; and the angel himself
took great joy at them; nor was the
shepherd that stood with me, less
pleased with them.
13 Then the angel of the Lord com-
manded crowns to be brought, and
the crowns were brought made of
palms; and the angel crowned those
men in whose rods he found the
young branches with fruit, and com-
manded them to go into the tower.
14 He also sent those into the
tower, in whose hands he found
branches without fruit, giving a seal
unto them. For they had the same
garment, that is, one white as snow;
with which he bade them go into the
tower And so he did to those who
returned their rods green as they had
received them; giving them a white
garment, and so sent them away to
go into the tower.
15 Having done this, he said to the
shepherd that was with me, I go my
way; but do thou send these within
the walls, every one into the place in
which he has deserved to dwell; ex-
amining first their rods, but examine
them diligently that no one deceive
thee; and if any one shall escape
thee, I will try them upon the altar.
Having said this to the shepherd, he
16 After he was gone, the shepherd
said unto me; Let us take the rods
from them, and plant them; if per-
chance they may grow green again. I
H E R M A S
said unto him; Sir, how can those dry
rods ever grow green again?
17 He answered me; That tree, is a
willow, and always loves to live. If
therefore these rods shall be planted,
and receive a little moisture, many
of them will recover themselves.
18 Wherefore I will try, and will
pour water upon them, and if any of
them can live, I will rejoice with
them; but if not, at least by this
means I shall be found not to have
neglected my part.
19 Then he commanded me to call
them; and they all came unto him,
every one in the rank in which he
stood, and gave him their rods;
which having received he planted
every one of them in their several
20 And after he had planted them
all, he poured much water upon
them, insomuch that they were
covered with water, and did not ap-
pear above it. Then when he had
watered them, he said unto me; Let
us depart, and after a little time we
will return and visit them.
21 For he who created this tree,
would have all those live that re-
ceived rods from it. And I hope now
that these rods are thus watered,
many of them receiving in the mois-
ture, will recover:
22 I said unto him, Sir, tell me what
this tree denotes? For I am greatly
astonished, that after so many
branches have been cut off, it seems
still to be whole: nor does there any
thing the less of it appear to remain,
which greatly amazes me.
23 He answered, Hearken. This
great tree which covers the plains
and the mountains, and all the earth,
is the law of God, published
throughout the whole world.
24 Now this law is the Son of God,
who is preached to all the ends of
the earth. The people that stand un-
der its shadow, are those which have
heard his preaching, and believed.
25 The great and venerable angel
which you saw, was Michael who had
the power over his people, and gov-
erns them. For he has planted the
law in the hearts of those who have
believed: and therefore he visits
them to whom lie has given the law,
to see if they have kept it.
26 And he examines every one's rod;
and of those, many that are
weakened: for those rods are the law
of the Lord. Then he discerns all
those who have not kept the law,
knowing the place of every one of
27 I said unto him, Sir, why did he
send away some to the tower, and
left others here to you? He replied,
those who have transgressed the law,
which they received from him, are
left in my power, that they may re-
pent of their sins: but they who ful-
filled this law and kept it, are under
28 But who then, said I, are those,
who went into the tower crowned?
He replied, all such as having striven
with the devil, have overcome him,
are crowned: and they are those, who
have suffered hard things, that they
might keep the law.
29 But they who gave up their rods
green, and with young branches, but
without fruit, have indeed endured
trouble for the same law, but have
not suffered death; neither have they
denied their holy law.
30 They who delivered up their rods
green as they received them, are
those who were modest and just, and
have lived with a very pure mind,
and kept the commandments of
H E R M A S
31 The rest thou shalt know, when I
shall have considered those rods
which I have planted and watered.
32 After a few days we returned,
and in the same place stood that
glorious angel, and I stood by him.
Then he said unto me; Gird thyself
with a towel, and serve me.
33 And I girded myself with a clean
towel, which was made of coarse
cloth. And when he saw me girded,
and ready to minister unto him, he
said, Call those men whose rods have
been planted, every one in his order
as he gave them.
34 And he brought me into the
field, and I called them all, and they
all stood ready in their several ranks.
Then he said unto them; let every
one pluck up his rod, and bring it
unto me. And first they delivered
theirs, whose rods had been dry and
35 And those whose rods still con-
tinued so, he commanded to stand
apart. Then they came whose rods
had been dry but not rotten. Some
of these delivered, in their rods
green; others dry and rotten, as if
they had been touched by the moth.
36 Those who gave them up green,
he commanded to stand apart: but
those whose rods were dry and rot-
ten, he caused to stand with the first
sort. Then came they whose rods had
been half dry, and cleft: many of
these gave up their rods green, and
37 Others delivered them up green
with branches, like unto theirs who
went crowned into the tower. Others
delivered them up dry, but not rot-
ten; and some gave them up as they
were before, all dry, and cleft.
38 Every one of these he ordered to
stand apart; some by themselves,
others in their respective ranks.
32 Then came they whose rods had
been green, but cleft. These de-
livered their rods altogether green,
and stood in their own order. And
the shepherd rejoiced at these, be-
cause they were all changed, and free
from their clefts.
40 Then they gave in their rods,
who had them half green and half
dry. Of these some were found
wholly green, others half dry: others
green, with young shoots. And all
these were sent away, every one to
his proper rank.
41 Then they gave up their rods,
who had them before two parts
green, and the third dry. Many of
those gave in their rods green; many
half dry; the rest dry but not rotten.
So these were sent away, each to his
42 Then came they who before had
their rods two parts dry and the
third green; many of these delivered
up their rods half dry, others dry
and rotten; others half dry and cleft:
but few green. And all these were set
every one in his own rank.
43 Then they reached in their rods,
in which there was before but a little
green, and the rest dry. Their rods
were for the most part found green,
having little boughs, with fruit upon
them; and the rest altogether green.
44 And the shepherd upon sight of
these rejoiced exceedingly, because
he had found them thus; and they
also went to their proper orders.
45 Now after he had examined all
their rods, he said unto me, I told
thee that this tree loved life thou
seest how many have repented, and
attained unto salvation. Sir, said I, I
46 That thou mightest know saith
he, that the goodness and mercy of
the Lord is great, and to be had in
honour; who gave his spirit to them
H E R M A S
that were found worthy of repent-
47 I answered, Sir, why then did not
all of them repent? He replied,
Those whose minds the Lords
foresaw would be pure, and that they
would serve him with all their hearts,
to them he gave repentance.
48 But for those whose deceit and
wickedness he beheld, and perceived
that they would not truly return unto
him; to them he denied any return
unto repentance, lest they should
again blaspheme his law with wicked
49 I said unto him; Now, Sir, make
known unto me, what is the place of
every one of those, who have given
up their rods, and what their por-
tion; that when they may have not
kept their seal entire, but have
wasted the seal which they received,
shall hear and believe these thins,
and may acknowledge their evil
deeds and repent;
50 And receiving again their seal
from you, may give glory to God,
that he was moved with compassion
towards them, and sent you to renew
51 Hearken, said he; they whose
rods have been found and rotten,
and as it were touch with the moth;
are the deserters and the betrayers
of the church;
52 Who with the rest of their
crimes, have also blasphemed the
Lord, and denied his name when he
had called upon them. Therefore all
these are dead unto God and thou
seest that none of them have repen-
ted, although they have heard my
commands which thou bast delivered
unto them. From these men there-
fore life is far distant.
53 They also who have delivered up
their rods dry, but not rotten, have
not been far from them. For they
have been counterfeits, and brought
in evil doctrines, and have perverted
the servants of God, especially those
who had sinned; not suffering them
to return unto repentance, but keep-
ing them back by their false doc-
54 These therefore have hope; and
thou seest that many of them have
repented, since the time that thou
hast laid my commands before them;
and many more will yet repent. But
they, that shall not repent; shall lose
both repentance and life.
55 But they that have repented,
their place is begun to be within the
first walls, and some of them are
even gone into the tower. Thou seest
therefore, said he, that in the repent-
ance of sinners there is life; but for
those who repent not, death is pre-
56 Hear now concerning those who
gave in their rods half dry and full
of clefts. Those whose rods were
only half dry, are the doubtful; for
they are neither living nor dead.
57 But they who delivered in their
rods, not only half dry but also full
of clefts, are both doubtful and evil
speakers; who detract from those
that are absent, and have never peace
among themselves, and who envy
58 Howbeit, to those also repent-
ance is offered; for thou seest that
some of these have repented.
59 Now all those of this kind who
have quickly repented, shall have a
place in the tower; and they who
have been more slow in their repent-
ance, shall dwell within the walls:
but they that shall not repent, and
shall continue on in their wicked do-
ings, shall die the death.
60 As for those who had their rods
green, but yet cleft; they are such as
were always faithful and good, but
H E R M A S
they had some envy and strife among
themselves concerning dignity and
61 Now all such as are vain, and
without understanding, contend with
one another about these things.
62 Nevertheless, seeing they are
otherwise good, if when they shall
hear these commands they shall
amend themselves, and shall at my
persuasion suddenly repent; they
shall at last dwell in the tower, like
those who have truly and worthily
63 But if any one shall again return
to his dissension; he shall be shut
out from the tower, and shall lose
his life. For the life of those who
keep the commandments of the
Lord, consists in doing what they are
commanded; not in principality, or in
any other dignity.
64 For by forbearance and humility
of mind, men shall attain unto life;
but by seditions and contempt of the
law, they shall purchase death unto
65 They who in their rods had half
dry and half green, are those who
are engaged in many affairs of the
world, and are not joined to the
saints. For which cause half of them
liveth, and half is dead.
66 Wherefore many of these since
the time that they have heard my
commands, have repented, and begun
to dwell in the tower. But some of
them have wholly fallen away; to
these there is no more place for re-
67 For by reason of their present
interests, they have blasphemed and
denied God: and for this wickedness
they have lost life. And of these
many are still in doubt, yet these
may return; and if they shall quickly
repent, they shall have a place in the
tower; but if they shall be more
slow, they shall dwell within the
walls; but if they shall not repent,
they shall die.
68 As for those who had two parts
of their rods green, and the third
dry; they have by manifold ways
denied the Lord. Of these many have
repented, and found a place in the
tower: and many have altogether de-
parted from God. These have utterly
69 And some being in a doubtful
state, have raise up dissensions:
these may yet return, if they shall
suddenly repent and not continue in
their lusts; but if they shall continue
in their evil-doing they shall die.
70 They who gave in their rods two
parts dry, and the other been, are
those who have indeed been faithful,
but withal rich and full of good
things; and thereupon upon have de-
sired to be famous among the hea-
then which are without, and have
thereby fallen into great pride, and
begun to aim at high matters, and to
forsake the truth.
71 Nor were they joined to the
saints, but lived with the heathen;
and this life seemed the more pleas-
ant to them. Howbeit they have not
departed from God, but continued in
the faith; only they have not wrought
the works of faith.
72 Many therefore of these have re-
pented; and begun to dwell in the
tower. Yet others still living among
the heathen, people, and being lifted
up with their vanities, have utterly
fallen away from God, and followed
the works and wickedness of the
heathen. These kind of men there-
fore are reckoned among strangers to
73 Others of these began to be
doubtful in their minds; despairing
by reason of their wicked doings
ever to attain unto salvation Others
H E R M A S
being thus made doubtful, did
moreover stir up dissensions.
74 To these therefore, and to those
who by reason of their doings are
become doubtful, there is still hope
of return; but they must repent
quickly, that their place may be in
the tower. But they that repent not,
and continue still in their pleasures,
are nigh unto death.
75 As for those who gave in their
rods green, excepting their tops,
which only were dry, and had clefts;
these were always good, and faithful,
and upright before God: nevertheless
they sinned a little, by reason of
their empty pleasures and trifling
thoughts which they had within
76 Wherefore many of them when
they heard my words, repented forth-
with, and began to dwell in the
tower. Nevertheless some grew
doubtful, and others to their doubt-
ful minds added dissensions. To
these therefore there is still hope of
return, because they were always
good; but they shall not hardly be
77 As for those, lastly, who gave in
their rods dry, their tops only excep-
ted, which alone were green; they are
such as have believed indeed in God,
but have lived in wickedness; yet
without departing from God: having
always willingly borne the name of
the Lord, and readily received into
their houses the servants of God.
78 Wherefore hearing these things
they returned, and without delay re-
pented, and lived in all righteous-
ness. And some of them suffered
death: others readily underwent
many trials, being mindful of their
79 If And when he had ended his
explications of all the rods, he said
unto me, Go, and say unto all men
that they repent, and they shall live
unto God; because the Lord being
moved with great clemency hath sent
me to preach repentance unto all:
80 Even unto those who by reason
of their evil doings, deserve not to
attain unto salvation. But the Lord
will by patient, and keep the invita-
tion that was made by his Son.
81 I said unto him, sir, I hope that
all when they shall hear these things,
will repent. For I trust that everyone
acknowledging his crimes, and taking
up the fear of the Lord, will return
82 He said unto me, Whosoever
shall repent with all their hearts, and
cleanse themselves from all the evils
that I have before mentioned, and
not add anything more to their sins,
shall receive from the Lord cure of
their former iniquities, if they do
not make any doubt of these com-
mands, and shall live unto God.
83 But they that shall continue to
add to their transgressions, and still
converse with the lusts of the
present world, shall condemn them-
selves unto death. But do thou walk
in these commands, and whosoever
shall Walk in these, and exercise
them rightly, shall live unto God.
84 And having showed me all these
things, he said; I will show thee the
rest in a few days.
The greatest mysteries of the militant and
triumphant Church which is to be built.
AFTER I had Written the Com-
mands and similitudes of the Shep-
herd, the Angel of Repentance came
unto me, and said to me, I will show
thee all those things which the Spirit
spake with thee under the figure of
the church. For that Spirit is the Son
H E R M A S
2 And because thou wert weak in
body, it was not declared unto thee
by the angel, until thou wert
strengthened by the Spirit, and in-
creased in force, that thou mightest
also see the angel:
3 For then indeed the building of
the tower was very well and glori-
ously shown unto thee by the
church; nevertheless thou sawest all
things shown unto thee as it were by
4 But now thou art enlightened by
the angel, and yet by the same Spirit.
But thou must consider all things di-
ligently; for therefore am I sent into
thy house by that venerable messen-
ger, that when thou shalt have seen
all things powerfully, thou mayest
not be afraid as before.
5 And he led me to the height of a
mountain in Arcadia, and we sat
upon its top. And he showed me a
great plain, and about it twelve
mountains in different figures.
6 The first was black as soot. The
second was smooth, without herbs.
The third was full of thorns and
thistles. The fourth had herbs half
dried; of which the upper part was
green, but that next the root was
dry; and some of the herbs, when
the sun grew hot, were dry.
7 The fifth mountain was very
rugged; but yet had green herbs. The
sixth mountain was full of clefts,
some lesser, and some greater; and
in these clefts grew grass, not flour-
ishing, but which seemed to be with-
8 The seventh mountain had de-
lightful pasture, and was wholly
fruitful; and all kinds of cattle, and
of the birds of heaven; fed upon it;
and the more they fed on it, the
more and better did the grass grow.
9 The eighth mountain was full of
fountains, and from those fountains
were watered all kinds of the
creatures of Cod. The ninth moun-
tain had no water at all, but was
wholly destitute of it; and nourished
deadly serpents, very destructive to
10 The tenth mountain was full of
tall trees, and altogether shady; and
under the shade of them lay cattle
resting and chewing the cud.
11 The eleventh mountain was full
of the thickest trees, and those trees
seemed to be loaded with several
sorts of fruits; that whosoever saw
them could not choose but desire to
eat of their fruit.
12 The twelfth mountain was alto-
gether white, and of a most pleasant
aspect, and itself gave a most excel-
lent beauty to itself.
13 In the middle of the plain he
showed me a huge white rock, which
rose out of the plain, and the rock
was higher than those mountains,
and was square; so that it seemed
capable of supporting the whole
14 It looked to me to be old, yet it
had in it a new gate, which seemed
to have been newly hewn out of it.
Now that gate was bright beyond the
sun itself; insomuch, that I greatly
wondered at its light.
15 About the gate stood twelve vir-
gins; of which four that stood at the
corners of the gate, seemed to me to
be the chiefest, although the rest
were also of worth: and they stood
in the four parts of the gate.
16 It added also to the grace of
those virgins, that they stood in
pairs, clothed with linen garments,
and decently girded, their right arms
being at liberty, as if they were
about to lift up some burthen; for so
they were adorned, and were exceed-
ing cheerful and ready.
H E R M A S
17 When I saw this, I wondered with
myself to see such great and noble
things. And again I admired upon
the account of those virgins, that
they were so handsome and delicate;
and stood with such firmness and
constancy, as if they would carry the
18 And as I was thinking thus within
myself, the shepherd said unto me;
What thickest thou within thyself?
Why art thou disquieted, and fillest
thyself with care?
19 Do not seem to consider, as if
thou wert wise, what thou doest not
understand, but pray unto the Lord,
that thou mayest have ability to un-
derstand it. What is to come thou
canst not understand, but thou seest
that which is before thee.
20 Be not therefore disquieted at
those things which thou canst not
see; but get the understanding of
those which thou seest.
21 Forbear to be curious; and I will
show thee all things that I ought to
declare unto thee: but first consider
what yet remains.
22 And when he had said this unto
me I looked up, and behold I saw six
tall and venerable men coming; their
countenances were all alike, and they
called a certain multitude of men;
and they who came at their call were
also tall and stout.
23 And those six commanded them
to build a certain tower over that
gate. And immediately there began to
be a great noise of those men run-
ning here and there about the gate,
who were come together to build the
24 But those virgins which stood
about the gate perceived that the
building of the tower was to be
hastened by them. And they
stretched out their hands, as if they
were to receive somewhat from them
25 Then those six men commanded,
that they should lift up stones out of
a certain deep place, and prepare
them for the building of the tower.
And there were lifted up ten white
stones, square, and not cut round.
26 Then those six men called the
ten virgins to them, and commanded
them to carry all the stones that
were to be put into the building, and
having carried them through the gate
to deliver them to those that were
about to build the tower.
27 Immediately the virgins began all
of them together to lift up those
stones, that were before taken out of
28 And they who also stood about
the gate did carry stones in such a
manner, that those stones which
seemed to be the strongest were laid
at the corners, and the rest were put
into the sides;
29 And thus they carried all the
stones, and bringing them through
the gate delivered them to the build-
ers, as they had been commanded:
who receiving them at their hands,
built with them.
30 But this building was made upon
that great rock, and over the gate;
and by these the whole tower was
supported. But the building of the
ten stones filled the whole gate,
which began to be made for the
foundation of that tower.
31 After those ten stones did five
and twenty others rise up out of the
deep; and these were placed in the
building of the same tower; being
lifted up by those virgins, as the oth-
ers had been before.
32 After these did fire and thirty
others rise up; and these were also in
like manner fitted into the same
work. Then forty other stones were
H E R M A S
brought up, and all these were added
unto the building of that tower.
33 So there began to be four ranks
in the foundation of that tower; and
the stones ceased to rise out of the
deep; and they also which built res-
ted a little.
34 Again, those six men commanded
the multitude, that they should bring
stones out of those twelve moun-
tains to the building of the same
35 So they cut out of all the moun-
tains stones of divers colours, and
brought them and gave them to the
virgins; which when they had re-
ceived they carried them, and de-
livered them into the building of the
36 In which when they were built
they became white, and different
from what they were before; for they
were all alike, and did change their
former colours. And some were
reached up by the men themselves,
which when they came into the
building, continued such is they were
37 These neither became white, nor
different from what they were be-
fore; because they were not carried
by the virgins through the gate.
Wherefore these stones were dis-
agreeable in the building; which,
when these six men perceived they
commanded them to be removed,
and put again in the place from
which they were brought.
38 And they said to those who
brought these stones; Do not ye
reach up to us any stones for this
building, but lay them down by the
tower, that these virgins may carry
them and reach them to us.
39 For unless they shall be carried
by these virgins through this gate,
they cannot change their colours:
therefore do not labour in vain.
40 So the building that day was
done; howbeit the tower was not fin-
ished, for it was afterwards to be
built; therefore now also there was
some delay made of it.
41 And these six men commanded
those that built to depart, and as it
were to rest for some time; but they
ordered those virgins that they
should not depart from the tower; so
now they seemed to me to be left for
the guarding of it.
42 When all were departed, I said
unto the shepherd; Sir, why is not
the building of the tower finished?
Because it cannot, said he, be fin-
ished until its Lord comes, and ap-
proves of the building; that if he
shall find any stones in it that are
not good they may be changed; for
this tower is built according to his
43 Sir, said I, I would know what
the building of this tower signifies;
as also I would be informed con-
cerning this rock, and this gate;
44 And concerning the mountains,
and the virgins, and the stones that
did rise out of the deep, and were
not cut, but put into the building
just as they came forth; and why the
ten stones were first laid in the
foundation; then the twenty-five,
then thirty- five; then forty?
45 Also concerning those stones
that were put into the building, and
again taken out, and carried back
into their places? Fulfil, I pray, the
desire of my soul as to all these
things, and manifest all unto me.
46 And he said unto me; If thou
shalt not be dull, thou shall know all,
and shall see all the other things that
are about to happen in this, tower:
and shall understand diligently all
47 And after a few days we came
into the same place where we had sat
H E R M A S
before; and he said unto me, Let us
go unto the tower; for the Lord of it
will come and examine it.
48 So we came thither, and found
none but those virgins there. And he
asked them whether the Lord of that
tower was come thither? And they
replied, that he would be there
presently to examine the building.
49 After a very little while I saw a
great multitude of men coming, and
in the middle of them a man so tall,
that he surpassed the tower in
50 About him were those six, who
before commanded in the building,
and all the rest of those who had
built that tower, and many others of
great dignity: and the virgins that
kept the tower ran to meet him, and
kissed him, and began to walk near
51 But he examined the building
with so much care, that he handled
every stone; and struck every one
with a rod which he held in his hand:
52 Of which some being so struck
turned black as soot; others were
rough; some looked as if they had
cracks in them; others seemed
maimed; some neither black nor
white; some looked sharp, and
agreed not with the other stones,
and others were full of spots.
53 These were the several kinds of
those stones which were not found
proper in the building; all which the
Lord commanded to be taken out of
the tower, and laid near it, and other
stones to be brought and put in their
54 And they that built, asked him
from which of the mountains he
would have stones brought to put in
the place of those that were laid
aside. But he forbad them to bring
any from the mountains, and com-
manded that they should take them
out of a certain field that was near.
55 So they digged in the field, and
found many bright square stones,
and some also that were round.
Howbeit, all that were found in that
field were taken away, and carried
through the gate by those virgins;
and those of them that were square
were fitted and put into the places
of those that were pulled out.
56 But the round ones were not put
into the building, because they were
hard, and it would have required too
much time to cut them but they were
placed about the tower, as if they
should hereafter be cut square, and
put into the building; for they were
57 When he who was chief in dig-
nity, and lord of the whole tower
saw this, he called to him the shep-
herd that was with me, and gave him
the stones that were rejected and laid
about the tower, and said unto him;
cleanse these stones with all care,
and fit them into the building of the
tower, that they may agree with the
rest; but those that will not suit with
the rest, cast away afar off from the
58 When he had thus commanded
him, he departed, with all those that
came with him to the tower but
those virgins still stood about the
tower to keep it.
59 And I said unto that shepherd;
How can these stones, seeing they
have been rejected, return into the
building of this tower? He replied; I
will cut off the greatest part from
these stones, and will add them to
the building, and they will agree with
60 And I said, Sir, how will they be
able to fill the same place, when they
shall be so much cut away? He
answered; They that shall be found
H E R M A S
too little shall be put into the middle
of the building, and the greater shall
be placed without, and keep them in.
61 When he had said thus unto me,
he added; Let us go, and after three
days we will return, and I will put
these stones, being cleansed, into the
62 For all these that are about the
tower must be cleansed, lest the mas-
ter of the house chance to come
upon the sudden, and find those
which are about the tower unclean;
and be so exasperated that these
stones should never be put into the
building of this tower, and I shall be
looked upon to have been unmindful
of my master's commands.
63 When therefore we came after
three days to the tower, he said unto
me; Let us examine all these stones,
and let us see which of them may go
into the building. I answered, Sir, let
64 And first of all we began to con-
sider those which had been black;
for they were found just such as they
were when they were pulled out of
the tower: wherefore he commanded
them to be removed from the tower
and put by themselves.
65 Then he examined those which
had been rough; and commanded
many of those to be cut round, and
to be fitted by the virgins into the
building of the tower; so they took
them, and fitted them into the
middle of the building and he com-
manded the rest to be laid by with
the black ones, for they also were
66 Next he considered those which
were full of cracks, and many of
those also he ordered to be pared
away, and so to be added to the rest
of the building, by the came virgins.
67 These were placed without be-
cause they were found entire; but the
residue through the multitude of
their cracks could not be reformed,
and therefore were cast away from
the building of the tower.
68 Then he considered those that
had been maimed; many of these had
cracks, and were become black; oth-
ers had large clefts; these he com-
manded to be placed with those that
69 But the rest being cleansed and
reformed, he commanded to be put
into the building. These therefore
those virgins took up, and fitted into
the middle of the building, because
they were but weak.
70 After these he examined those
which were found half white and
half black, and many of those which
were now black; these also he
ordered to be laid among those that
were cast away.
71 The rest were found altogether
white; those were taken up by the
virgins, and fitted into the same
tower: and they were put in the out-
side, because they were found entire;
that so they might keep in those that
were placed in the middle, for noth-
ing was cut off from them.
72 Next he looked upon those
which had been hard and sharp; but
few of these were made use of, be-
cause they could not be cut, for they
were found very hard: but the rest
were formed, and fitted by the vir-
gins into the middle of the building,
because they were more weak.
73 Then he considered those which
had spots; of these a few were found
black, and they were carried to their
fellows. The rest were white and en-
tire; and they were fitted by the vir-
gins into the building, and placed in
the outside, by reason of their
74 After this he came to consider
those stones which were white and
H E R M A S
round: and he said unto me, What
shall we do with these stones? I
answered, Sir, I cannot tell.
75 He replied, Canst thou think of
nothing then for these? I answered,
Sir, I understand not this art; neither
am I a stone-cutter, nor can I tell
76 And he said, seest thou not that
they are very round? Now to make
them square, I must cut off a great
deal from them; howbeit, it is neces-
sary that some of these should go
into the building of the tower.
77 I answered; If it be necessary,
why do you perplex yourself, and not
rather choose, if you have any choice
among them, and fit them into the
78 Upon this he chose out the
largest and brightest, and squared
them; which, when he had done the
virgins took them up, and fitted
them into the building.
79 And the rest that remained were
carried back into the same field from
which they were taken; howbeit, they
were not cast away; because, said he,
there is yet a little wanting to this
tower, which is to be built; and per-
haps the Lord will have these stones
fitted into this building, because
they are exceeding white.
80 Then there were called twelve
very stately women, clothed with a
black garment, girded, and their
shoulders free, and their hair loose.
These seemed to me to be country
81 And the shepherd commanded
them to take up those stones which
were cast out of the building, and
carry them back to the mountains
out of which they were taken.
82 And they took them all up joy-
fully, and carried them back to their
places from whence they had been
83 When not one stone remained
about the tower, he said unto me,
Let us go about this tower, and see
whether anything be wanting to it.
84 We began therefore to go round
about it; and when he saw that it was
handsomely built, he began to be
very glad; for it was so beautifully
framed, that any one that had seen it
must have been in love with the
85 For it seemed to be all but one
stone, nor did a joint any where ap-
pear; but it looked as if it had all
been cut out of one rock.
86 And when I diligently considered
what a tower it was, I was extremely
pleased: and he said unto me, Bring
hither some lime and little shells,
that I may fill up the spaces of those
stones that were taken out of the
building, and put in again; for all
things about the tower must be made
87 And I did as he commanded me,
and brought them unto him and he
said unto me, Be ready to help me,
and this work will quickly be fin-
88 He therefore filled up the spaces
of those stones, and commanded the
place about the tower to be cleansed.
89 Then those virgins took besoms,
and cleansed all the place around,
and took away all the rubbish, and
threw water on; which being done,
the palace became delightful, and the
90 Then he said unto me, All is now
clean if the Lord should come to
finish the tower, he will find nothing
whereby to complain of us.
91 When he had said this he would
have departed. But I laid hold on his
bag, and began to entreat him for
the Lord's sake, that he would ex-
plain to me all things that he had
H E R M A S
92 He said unto me, I have at
present a little business; but I will
suddenly explain all things unto thee.
Tarry here for me till I come.
93 I said unto him, Sir, what shall I
do here alone? He answered, Thou
art not alone, seeing all these virgins
are with thee.
94 I said, Sir, deliver me then unto
them. Then he called them and said
unto them, I commend this man unto
you until I shall come;
95 So I remained with those virgins:
now they were cheerful and cour-
teous unto me; especially the four,
which seemed to be the chieftest
96 Then those virgins said unto me,
that shepherd will not return hither
to-day. I said unto them, What then
shall I do? They answered, Tarry for
him till the evening, if perhaps he
may come and speak with thee; but
if not, yet thou shalt continue with
us till he does come.
97 I said unto them, I will tarry for
him till evening; but if he comes not
by that time, I will go home, and re-
turn hither again the next morning.
98 They answered me, As thou art
delivered unto us, thou mayest not
depart from us. I said, Where shall I
99 They replied, Thou shalt sleep
with us as a brother, not as a hus-
band; for thou art our brother, and
we are ready from henceforth to
dwell with thee; for thou art very
dear to as.
100 Howbeit I was ashamed to con-
tinue with them. But she that seemed
to be the chieftest amongst them,
embraced me, and began to kiss me.
And the rest when they saw that I
was kissed by her, began also to kiss
me as a brother; and led me about
the tower, and played with me.
101 Some of them also sung psalms,
others made up the chorus with
them. But I walked about the tower
with them, rejoicing silently, and
seeming to myself to be grown
102 When the evening came on, I
would forthwith have gone home,
but they withheld me, and suffered
me not to depart. Wherefore I con-
tinued with them that night near the
103 So they spread their linen gar-
ments upon the ground; and placed
me in the middle, nor did they any-
thing else, only they prayed.
104 I also prayed with them without
ceasing, nor less than they. Who,
when they saw me pray in that man-
ner, rejoiced greatly: and I continued
there with their till the next day.
105 And when we had worshipped
God, then the shepherd came and
said unto them: You have done no
injury to this man? They answered,
Ask him. I said unto him, Sir, I have
received a great deal of satisfaction
in that I have remained with them.
106 And he said unto me, How didst
thou sup? I answered, Sir, I feasted
the whole night upon the words of
the Lord. They received thee well
then, said he? I said, Sir, very well.
107 He answered, Wilt thou now
learn what thou didst desire? I
replied, Sir, I will: and first I pray
thee that thou shouldest show me all
things in the order that I asked
108 He answered, I will do all as
thou wouldst have me, nor will I
hide any thing from thee.
109 First of all, Sir, said I, tell me,
what this rock and this gate denote?
Hearken, said he; this rock, and this
gate, are the Son of God. I replied,
Sir, how can that be; seeing the rock
is old, but the gate new?
H E R M A S
110 Hear, said he, O foolish man!
and understand. The Son of God is
indeed more ancient than any
creature; insomuch that he was in
council with his Father at the cre-
ation oft all things.
111 But the gate is therefore new,
because he appeared in the last days
in the fullness of time; that they
who shall attain unto salvation, may
by it enter into the kingdom of God.
112 You have seen, said he, those
stones which were carried through
the gate, how they were placed in the
building of the tower; but that those
which were not carried through the
gate, were sent away into their own
113 I answered, sir, I saw it. Thus,
said he, no man shall enter into the
kingdom of God, but he who shall
take upon him the name of the Son
114 For if you would enter into any
city, and that city should he encom-
passed with a wall, and had only one
gate, could you enter into that city
except by that gate?
115 I answered, Sir, how could I do
otherwise? As therefore, said he,
there would be no other way of en-
tering into that city but by its gate,
so neither can any one enter into the
kingdom of God, but only by the
name of his Son, who is most dear
116 And he said unto me, Didst
thou see the multitude of those that
built that tower? Sir, said I, I saw it.
He answered, All those are the an-
gels, venerable in their dignity,
117 With those is the Lord encom-
passed as with a wall: but the gate is
the Son of God, who is the only way
of coming unto God. For no man
shall go to God, but by his Son.
118 Thou sawest also, said he, the
six men, and in the middle of them
that venerable great man, who
walked about the tower, and rejected
the stones out of the tower?
119 Sir, said I, I saw them. He
answered, that tall man was the Son
of God; and those six were his an-
gels of most eminent dignity, which
stand about him on the right hand
and on the left.
120 Of these excellent angels none
comes in unto God without him. He
added, Whosoever there, fore shall
not take upon him his name, he shall
nor enter into the kingdom of God.
121 Then I said, What is this tower?
This, said he, is the church. And
what, Sir, are these virgins? He said
unto me, These are the holy spirits,
for no man can enter into the king-
dom of God, except these clothe
him with their garment,
122 For it will avail thee nothing to
take up the name of the Son of God,
unless thou shalt also receive their
garment from them. For these vir-
gins are the powers of the Son of
God. So shall a man in vain bear his
name, unless he shall be also endued
with his powers.
123 And he said unto me, sawest
thou those stones that were cast
away? They bore indeed the name,
but put not on their garment. I said,
Sir, what is their garment? Their
very names, said he, are their gar-
124 Therefore whosoever beareth
the name of the Son of God, ought
to bear their names also; for the Son
of God also himself beareth their
125 As for those stones, continued
he, which being delivered by their
hands, thou sawest remain in the
building, they were clothed with
their power; for which cause thou
seest the whole tower of the same
H E R M A S
colour with the rock, and made as it
were of one stone.
126 So also those who have believed
in God by his Son, have put on his
spirit. Behold there shall be one
spirit, and one body, and one colour
of their garments; and all they shall
attain this, who shall bear the names
of these virgins.
127 And I said, Sir, why then were
those stones cast away which were
rejected, seeing they also were car-
ried through the gate, and delivered
by the hands of these virgins into
the building of this tower?
128 Seeing, said he thou takest care
to inquire diligently into all things,
hear also concerning those stones
which were rejected. All these re-
ceived the name of the Son of God,
and with that the power of these vir-
129 Having therefore received these
spirits, they were perfected, and
brought into the number of the ser-
vants of God; and they began to be
one body, and to have one garment,
for they were endued with the same
righteousness, which they alike exer-
130 But after that they beheld those
women which thou sawest clothed
with a black garment, with their
shoulders at liberty and their hair
loose; they fixed their desires upon
them, being tempted with their
beauty; and were clothed with their
power, and cast off the clothing of
131 Therefore were they cast off
from the house of God, and de-
livered to those women. But they
that were not corrupted with their
beauty, remained in the house of
God. This, said he, is the significa-
tion of those stones which were re-
132 And I said, sir, what if any of
these men shall repent, and cast
away their desire of those women,
and be converted, and return to
these virgins, and put on again their
virtue; shall they not enter into the
house of God?
133 They shall enter, said he, if they
shall lay aside all the works of those
women, and shall resume the power
of these virgins, and shall walk in
134 And for this cause there is a
stop in the building, that if they
shall repent, they may be added to
the building of this tower; but if
they shall not repent, that others
may be built in their places, and so
they may be utterly cast away.
135 For all these things I gave
thanks unto the Lord, that being
moved with mercy towards all those
upon whom his name is carried, he
sent to us the angel of repentance to
preside over us who have sinned
against him; and that he has re-
freshed our spirits which were al-
most gone, and who had no hope of
salvation, but are now refreshed to
the renewal of life.
136 Then I said, Show me now sir,
why this tower is not built upon the
ground, but upon a rock, and upon
the gate? He replied, Thou art fool-
ish, and without understanding,
therefore thou asketh this.
137 And I said, sir, I must needs ask
all things of you because I under-
stand nothing at all. For all your an-
swers are great and excellent; and
which a man can hardly understand.
138 Hear, said he: The name of the
Son of God is great and without
bounds, and the whole world is sup-
ported by it. If therefore, said I,
every creature of God be sustained
by his Son, why should he not sup-
port those also who have been in-
H E R M A S
vited by him, and who carry his
name, and walk in his command-
139 Seest thou not, said he, that he
doth support them, who with all
their heart, bear his name? He there-
fore is their foundation, and gladly
supports those who do not deny his
name, but willingly bear it.
140 And I said: Sir, tell me the
names of these virgins; and of those
women that were clothed with the
141 Hear, said he, the names of
those virgins which are the more
powerful, and stand at the corners
of the gate. These are their names:
142 The first is called Faith; the
second Continence; the third Power;
the fourth Patience; the rest which
stand beneath these are, Simplicity,
Innocence, Chastity, Cheerfulness,
Truth, Understanding, Concord,
143 Whosoever therefore bear these
names, and the name of the Son of
God, shall enter into the kingdom of
144 Hear now, said he, the names of
those women, which were clothed
with the black garment. Of these,
four are the principal: the first is
Perfidiousness; the second, Incontin-
ence; the third, Infidelity; the
145 And the rest which follow are
called thus, Sadness, Malice, Lust,
Anger, Lying, Foolishness, Pride, and
Hatred. The servant of God, which
carries these spirits, shall see indeed
the kingdom of God, but he shall
not enter into it.
146 But, sir, what are those stones
which were taken out of the deep
and fitted into the building? The ten,
said he, which were placed at the
foundation, are the first age; the fol-
lowing five-and- twenty, are the
second, of righteous men.
147 The next thirty-five, are the
prophets and ministers of the Lord.
And the forty, are the Apostles and
doctors of the preaching of the Son
148 And I said, sir, why did the vir-
gins put even those stones into the
building after they were carried
through the gate? And he said, Be-
cause these first carried those spir-
its, and they departed not one from
the other, neither the men from the
spirits, nor the spirits from the men:
149 But the spirits were joined to
those men even to the day of their
death; who if they had not had these
spirits with them, they could not
have been useful to the building of
150 And I said, sir, show me this
farther. He answered, What dost
then ask? Why did these stones come
out of the deep, and were placed
into the building of this tower, see-
ing that they long ago carried those
151 It was necessary, said he, for
them to ascend by water, that they
might be at rest. For they could not
otherwise enter into the kingdom of
God, but by laying aside the mortal-
ity of their former life.
152 They therefore being dead, were
nevertheless sealed with the seal of
the Son of God, and so entered into
the kingdom of God.
153 For before a man receives the
name of the Son of God, he is or-
dained unto death; but when he re-
ceives that seal, he is freed from
death, and assigned unto life.
154 Now that seal is the water of
baptism, into which men go down
under the obligation unto death, but
come up appointed unto life.
H E R M A S
155 Wherefore to those also was
this seal preached, and they made
use of it, that they might enter into
the kingdom of God.
156 And I said, Why then, sir, did
these forty stones also ascend with
them out of the deep, having already
received that seal?
157 He answered, Because these
Apostles and teachers, who preached
the name of the Son of God, dying
after they had received his faith and
power, preached to them who were
dead before: and they gave this seal
158 They went down therefore into
the water with them, and again came
up. But these went down whilst they
were alive, and came up again alive:
whereas those who were before dead,
went down dead, but came up alive;
159 Through these therefore they
received life, and knew the Son of
God: for which cause they came up
with them, and were fit to come into
the building of the tower; and were
not cut, but put in entire; because
they died in righteousness, and in
great purity; only this seal was want-
ing to them.
160 Thus you have the explication
of these things.
161 I answered: Sir, tell me now
what concerns those mountains; why
are they so different, some of one
form, and some of another?
162 Hear, said he; These twelve
mountains which thou seest, are
twelve nations, which make up the
whole world. Wherefore the Son of
God is preached to them, by those
whom he sent unto them.
163 But why, said I, are they differ-
ent, and every one of a figure? He
replied, Hearken. Those twelve na-
tions which possess the whole world,
are twelve people.
164 And as thou hast beheld these
mountains different, so are they. I
will therefore open to thee the
meaning and actions of every moun-
165 But first, sir, said I, show me
this; Seeing these mountains are so
different, how have they agreed in
the building of this tower; and been
brought to one colour; and are no
less bright than those that came out
of the deep?
166 Because, replied he, all the na-
tions which are under heaven, have
heard and believed in the same one
name of the Son of God by whom
they are called.
167 Wherefore having received his
seal, they have all been made par-
takers of the same understanding
and knowledge; and their faith and
charity have been the same; and they
have carried the spirits of these vir-
gins together with his name.
168 And therefore the building of
this tower appeared to be of the
same colour, and did shine like the
brightness of the sun.
169 But after that they had thus
agreed in one mind, there began to
be one body of them all; howbeit
some of them polluted themselves,
and were cast off from those of the
righteous, and again returned to
their former state, and became even
worse than they were before.
170 How, air, said I, were they
worse who knew the Lord? He
answered: If he who knows not the
Lord liveth wickedly, the punishment
of his wickedness attends him;
171 But he who has known the Lord,
ought to abstain altogether from all
wickedness, and more and more to
be the servant of righteousness.
172 And does not he then seem to
thee to sin more who ought to fol-
low goodness, if he shall prefer the
H E R M A S
part of sin; than he who offends
without knowing the power of God?
173 Wherefore these are indeed or-
dained unto death; but they who
have known the Lord, and have seen
his wonderful works, if they shall
live wickedly, they shall be doubly
punished, and shall die for ever.
174 As therefore thou hast seen that
after the stones were cast out of the
tower, which had been rejected, they
were delivered to wicked and cruel
spirits; and thou beheldest the tower
so cleansed, as if it had all been
made of one stone:
175 So the church of God, when it
shall be purified: (the wicked and
counterfeits, the mischievous and
doubtful, and all that have behaved
themselves wickedly in it, and com-
mitted divers kinds of sin, being cast
out) shall become one body, and
there shall be one understanding,
one opinion, one faith, and the same
176 And then shall the Son of God
rejoice among them, and shall re-
ceive his people with a pure will.
177 And I said; Sir, all these things
are great and honourable; but now
show unto me the effect and force
of every mountain: that every soul
which trusteth in the Lord, when it
shall hear these things may honour
his great, and wonderful, and holy
178 Hear, said he, the variety of
these mountains, that is, of the
179 They who have believed of the
first mountain, which is black, are
those who have revolted from the
faith, and spoken wicked things
against the Lord; and betrayed the
servants of God.
180 These are condemned to death;
there is no repentance for them: and
therefore they are black, because
their kind is wicked.
181 Of the second mountain which
was smooth, are the hypocrites, who
have believed, and the teachers of
naughtiness: and these are next to
the foregoing, which have not in
them the fruit of righteousness.
182 For as their mountain is barren
and without fruit so also such kind
of men have indeed the name of
Christians, but are empty of faith;
nor is there any fruit of the truth in
183 Nevertheless there is room left
to them of repentance, if they shall
speedily pursue it; but if they shall
delay, they also shall be partakers of
death with the foregoing kind.
184 I said, air, why is there room
left to those for repentance, and not
to the foregoing kind, seeing their
sins are well nigh the same?
185 There is therefore, said he, to
these a return unto life by repent-
ance, because they have not blas-
phemed against their Lord, nor be-
trayed the servants of God: but by
their desire of gain have deceived
men, leading them according to the
lusts of sinners; wherefore they shall
suffer for this thing.
186 Howbeit there is still left them
room for repentance, because they
have not spoken any thing wickedly
against the Lord.
187 They who are of the third
mountain which had thorns and
brambles, are those who believed,
but were some of them rich; others
taken up with many affairs: the
brambles are their riches; the thorns,
those affairs in which they were en-
188 Now they who are entangled in
much business, and in diversity of
affairs, join not themselves to the
servants of God, but wander, being
H E R M A S
called away by those affairs with
which they are choked.
189 And so they which are rich,
with difficulty yield themselves to
the conversation of the servants of
God; fearing lest any thing should be
asked of them. These therefore shall
hardly enter the kingdom of God.
190 For as men walk with difficulty
bare-foot over thorns, even so these
kind of men shall scarcely enter into
the kingdom of God.
191 Nevertheless there is afforded
to all these a return unto repentance,
if they shall quickly return to it; be-
cause in their for-mer days they hav-
ing neglected to work, in the time
that is to come they may do some
192 If therefore having repented
they shall do the works of righteous-
ness, they shall live; but if they shall
continue in their evil courses, they
shall be delivered to those women
who will take away their lives.
193 As for the fourth mountain,
which had many herbs, the upper
part of which is green, but the roots
dry, and some of which being
touched with the heat of the sun, are
194 It denotes the doubtful, who
have believed, and some others who
carry the Lord on their tongues, but
have him not in their hearts: there-
fore their grass is dry, and without
root; because they live only in words,
but their works are dead.
195 These therefore are neither
dead nor living, and withal are
doubtful. For the doubtful are
neither green nor dry; that is neither
dead nor alive.
196 For as the herbs dry away at the
sight of the sun, so the doubtful, as
soon as they hear of persecution,
and fear inconveniencies, return to
their idols, and again serve them,
and are ashamed to bear the name of
197 This kind of men then is
neither dead nor alive; nevertheless
these also may live, if they shall
presently repent; but if not, they
shall be delivered to those women,
who shall take away their lives.
198 As concerning the fifth moun-
tain that is craggy, and yet has green
grass; they are of this kind who have
believed, and are faithful indeed, but
believe with difficulty, and are bold
and self- conceited; and would be
thought to know all things, but really
199 Wherefore, by reason of this
confidence, knowledge is departed
from them; and a rash presumption
is entered into them.
200 But they carry themselves high,
and as prudent men; and though they
are fools, yet would seem to be
201 Now by reason of this folly
many of them whilst they magnify
themselves, are become vain and
empty. For boldness and vain confid-
ence is a very evil spirit.
202 Wherefore many of these are
cast away; but others acknowledging
their error, have repented, and sub-
mitted themselves to those who are
203 And to all the rest of this kind,
there is repentance allowed; for-
asmuch as they were not so much
wicked as foolish, and void of un-
204 If these therefore shall repent,
they shall live unto God; but if not,
they shall dwell with those women,
who shall exercise their wickedness
205 For what concerns the sixth
mountain having greater and lesser
clefts, they are such as have believed;
but those in which were lesser clefts
H E R M A S
are they who have had controversies
among themselves; and by reason of
their quarrels languish in the faith:
206 Nevertheless many of these
have repented, and so will the rest
when they shall hear my commands;
for their controversies are but small,
and they will easily return unto re-
207 But those who have the greater
clefts, will be as stiff stones, mindful
of grudges and offences, and full of
anger among themselves. These
therefore are cast from the tower,
and refused to be put into its build-
ing; for this kind of men shall hardly
208 Our God and Lord, who ruleth
over all things, and has power over
all his creatures, will not remember
our offences, but is easily appeased
by those who confess their sins: but
man being languid, mortal, infirm,
and full of sins, perseveres in his an-
ger against man; as if it were in his
power to save or destroy him.
209 But I, as the angel who am set
over your repentance, admonish you,
that whosoever among you has any
such purpose he should lay it aside,
and return unto repentance; and the
Lord will heal your former sins, if
you shall purge yourself from this
evil spirit; but if you shall not do it,
ye shall be delivered to him unto
210 As for the seventh mountain in
which the grass was green and flour-
ishing, and the whole mountain
faithful; and all kind of cattle fed
upon the grass of it, and the more
the grass was eaten, so much the
more it flourished;
211 They are such as believed, and
were always good and upright; and
without any differences among them-
selves, but still rejoiced in the ser-
vants of God, having put on the
spirit of these virgins; and been al-
ways forward to show mercy to all
men, readily giving to all men of
their labours without upbraiding,
and without deliberation.
212 Wherefore the Lord seeing their
simplicity and innocence, has in-
creased them in the works of their
hands, and given them grace in all
213 But I, who am the angel appoin-
ted over your repentance, exhort
you, that as many as are of this kind
would continue in the same purpose,
that your seed may not be rooted out
214 For the Lord hath tried you, and
written you into our number; and all
your seed shall dwell with the Son of
God; for ye are all of his spirit.
215 As concerning the eighth moun-
tain in which were a great many
springs, by which every kind of all
the creatures of God was watered;
they are such as have believed the
Apostles which the Lord sent into all
the world to preach;
216 And some of them being teach-
ers have preached and taught purely
and sincerely, and have not in the
least yielded to any evil, desires, but
have constantly walked in righteous-
ness and truth.
217 These therefore have their con-
versations among the angels.
218 Again; as for what concerns the
ninth mountain which is a desert,
and full of serpents; they are such as
have believed, but had many stains:
219 These are such ministers as dis-
charge their ministry amiss; ravish-
ing away the goods of the widows
and fatherless; and serve themselves,
not others, out of those things
which they have received.
220 These, if they continue in this
covetousness, have delivered them-
selves unto death, nor shall there be
H E R M A S
any hope of life for them. But if
they shall be converted, and shall
discharge their ministry sincerely,
they may live.
221 As for those which were found
rough, they are such as have denied
the name of the Lord, and not re-
turned again to the Lord, but have
become savage and wild; not apply-
ing themelves to the servants of
God; but being separated from them,
have for a little carelessness lost
222 For as a vine that is forsaken in
a hedge, and never dressed, perishes
and is choked by the weeds, and in
time becomes wild, and ceases to be
useful to its lord; so this kind of
men despairing of themselves, and
being soured, have begun to be un-
profitable to their Lord.
223 Howbeit, to these there is, after
all, repentance allowed, if they shall
not be found from their hearts to
have denied Christ; but if any of
these shall be found to have denied
him from his heart, I cannot tell
whether such a one can attain unto
224 I say therefore that if any one
hath denied, he should in these days
return unto repentance; for it cannot
be that anyone who now denies the
Lord, can afterwards attain unto sal-
vation nevertheless repentance is
promised unto them who have
225 But he who will repent must
hasten on his repentance, before the
building of this tower is finished;
otherwise, he shall be delivered by
those women unto death.
226 But they that are maimed, are
the deceitful; and those who mix
with one another, are the serpents
that you saw mingled in that moun-
227 For as the poison of serpents is
deadly unto men, so the words of
such persons infect and destroy men.
They are therefore maimed in their
faith, by reason of that kind of life
which they lead.
228 Howbeit some of them, having
repented, have been saved; and so
shall others of the same kind be also
saved, if they shall repent; but if
not, they shall die by those women
who power and force posses,
229 For what concerns the tenth
mountain, in which were the trees
covering the cattle, they are such as
have believed; and some of them
have been bishops, that is, governors
of the churches.
230 Others, are such stones as have
not feignedly, but with a cheerful
mind entertained the servants of
231 Then, such as have been set
over inferior ministries, and have
protected the poor and the widows;
and have always kept a chaste con-
versation: therefore they also are
protected by the Lord.
232 Whosoever shall do on this
wise, are honoured with the Lord;
and their place is among the angels,
if they shall continue to obey the
Lord even unto the end.
233 As to the eleventh mountain in
which were trees loaded with several
sorts of fruit; they are such as have
believed, and suffered death, for the
name of the Lord; and have endured
with a heavy mind, and have given
up their lives with all their hearts.
234 And I said, Why then, sir, have
all these fruit indeed, but yet some
fairer than others?
235 Hearken, said he: Whosoever
have suffered for the name of the
Lord are esteemed honourable by the
Lord; and all their offences are blot-
ted out, because they have suffered
H E R M A S
death for the name of the Son of
236 Hear now, why their fruits are
different, and some of them excel
others. They who were brought be-
fore magistrates, and being asked,
denied not the Lord, but suffered
with a ready mind; these are more
honourable with the Lord. The fruits
therefore that are the most fair are
237 But they who were fearful and
doubtful, and have deliberated with
themselves whether they should con-
fess or deny Christ, and yet have
suffered; their fruits are smaller, be-
cause that this thought came into
238 For it is a wicked and evil
thought for a servant to deliberate
whether he should deny his master:
Take heed therefore ye who have
such thoughts, that this mind
Pontinrie not in you, and ye die unto
239 But ye who suffer death for his
name sake, ought to honour the
Lord, that he has esteemed you
worthy to bear his name; and that
you should be delivered from all
240 And why therefore do you not
rather esteem yourselves happy? Ye
think verily that if any one among
you suffer, he performs a great work!
Yet the Lord giveth you life, and ye
understand it not. For your offences
did oppress you; and if you had not
suffered for his name sake, ye would
now be dead unto the Lord.
241 Wherefore I speak this unto you
who deliberate whether ye should
confess or deny him. Confess that ye
have the Lord for your God, lest at
any time denying him, ye be de-
livered up into bonds.
242 For if all nations punish their
servants which deny their masters;
what think you that the Lord will do
unto you, who has the power of all
243 Remove therefore out of your
hearts these doubts, that ye may live
for ever unto God.
244 As for the twelfth mountain,
which was white, they are such as
have believed like sincere children,
into whose thoughts there never
came any malice, nor have they ever
known what sin was, but have always
continued in their integrity.
245 Wherefore this kind of men
shall without all doubt inherit the
kingdom of God; because they have
never in any thing defiled the com-
mandments of God, but have contin-
ued with sincerity in the same condi-
tion all the days of their lives.
246 Whosoever therefore, said he,
shall continue as children without
malice; shall be more honourable
than all those of whom I have yet
spoken: for all such children are
honoured by the Lord, and esteemed
the first of all.
247 Happy therefore are ye who
shall remove all malice from you,
and put on innocence; be. cause ye
shall first see the Lord.
248 And after he had thus ended his
explication of all the mountains, I
said unto him, Sir, show me now also
what concerns the stones that were
brought out of the plain, and put
into the tower in the room of those
that were rejected.
249 As also concerning those round
stones which were added into the
building of the tower; and also of
those who still continued round.
250 Hear now, says he, concerning
those stones which were brought out
of the plain into the building of the
tower, and placed in the room of
those that were rejected: they are the
roots of that white mountain.
H E R M A S
251 Wherefore because those who
have believed of that mountain, were
very innocent; the lord of this tower
commanded that they which were of
the roots of this mountain should be
placed into the building.
252 For he knew that if they were
put into, this building they would
continue bright; nor would any of
them any more be made black.
253 But if he had added after this
manner, from the rest of the moun-
tains, he would almost have needed
again to visit the tower, and to
254 Now all these white stones are
the young men who have believed, or
shall believe; for they are all of the
same kind. Happy is this kind, be-
cause it is innocent.
255 Hear now also concerning those
round and bright stones; all these are
of this white mountain. But they are
therefore found round, because their
riches have a little darkened them
from the truth, and dazzled their
256 Howbeit they have never depar-
ted from the Lord, nor has any
wicked word proceeded out of their
mouths; but all righteousness, and
virtue, and truth.
257 When therefore the Lord saw
their minds, and that they might ad-
orn the truth; he commanded that
they should continue good, and that
their riches should be pared away:
258 For he would not have them
taken wholly away, to the end they
might do some good with that which
was left, and live unto God; because
they also are of a good kind.
259 Therefore was there little cut
off from them, and so they were put
into the building of this tower.
260 As for the rest which continued
still round, and were not found fit
for the building of this tower, be-
cause they have not yet received the
seal; they were carried back to their
place, be. cause they were found very
261 But this present world must be
cut away from them, and the vanities
of their riches; and then they will be
fit for the kingdom of God. For they
must enter into the kingdom of God,
because God has blessed this inno-
262 Of this kind therefore none
shall fall away: for though any of
them being tempted by the devil
should offend, he shall soon return
to his Lord God.
263 I the angel of repentance es-
teem you happy, whosoever are inno-
cent as little children, because your
portion is good and honourable with
264 And I say unto all you who have
received this seal; keep simplicity,
and remember not the offences
which are committed against you,
nor continue in malice, or in bitter-
ness, through the memory of of-
265 But become one spirit, and
provide remedies for these evil rents,
and remove them from you; that the
lord of the sheep may rejoice at it;
for he will rejoice, if he shall find all
266 But if any of these sheep shall
be found scattered away, Woe shall
be to the shepherds; and if the shep-
herds themselves shall be scattered;
what will they answer to the lord of
the sheep-fold? Will they say that
they were troubled by the sheep? But
they shall not be believed.
267 For it is an incredible thing that
the shepherd should suffer by his
flock; and he shall be the more pun-
ished for his life.
268 Now I am the shepherd; and es-
pecially must give an account of you.
H E R M A S
269 Wherefore take care of
yourselves whilst the tower is, yet
building. The Lord dwells in those
that love peace, for peace is beloved;
but he is far off from the conten-
tious, and those who are full of
270 Wherefore restore unto him the
Spirit entire, as ye received it. For if
thou shalt give unto a fuller a gar-
ment new and whole, thou wilt ex-
pect to receive it whole again; if
therefore the fuller shall restore it
unto thee torn, wouldst thou receive
271 Wouldst thou not presently be
angry, and reproach him, saying: I
gave my garment to thee whole, why
halt thou rent it, and made it useless
to me? Now it is of no use to me, by
reason of the rent which thou hast
made in it. Wouldst thou not say all
this to a fuller, for the rent which he
made in thy garment?
272 If therefore thou wouldst be
concerned for thy garment, and com-
plain that thou hadst not received it
whole; what thinkest thou that the
Lord will do, who gave his Spirit to
thee entire, and thou hast rendered
him altogether unprofitable, so that
he can be of no use unto his Lord?
For being corrupted by thee, he is no
longer profitable to him.
273 Will not therefore the Lord do
the same concerning his Spirit, by
reason of thy deed? Undoubtedly,
said I, he will do the same to all
those whom he shall find to continue
in the remembrance of injuries.
274 Tread not then under foot he
said, his mercy; but rather honour
him, because he is so patient with re-
spect to your offences, and not like
one of you; but repent, for it will be
profitable for you.
275 All these things which are
above written, I the shepherd and
angel of repentance, have shown and
spoken to the servants of God.
276 If therefore ye shall believe and
hearken to these words, and shall
walk in them and correct your ways,
ye shall live. But if ye shall, continue
in malice, and in the remembrance
of injuries, no such sinners shall live
277 All these things which were to
be spoken by me, I have thus de-
livered unto you. Then the shepherd
said unto me, Hast thou asked all
things of me? I answered, sir, I have.
278 Why then, said he, hast thou
not asked concerning the spaces of
these stones that were put in the
building, that I may explain that also
unto thee? I answered, sir, I forgot
it. Hear, then, said he, concerning
279 They are those who have now
heard these commands, and have re-
pented with all their hearts;
280 And when the Lord saw that
their repentance was good and pure,
and that they could continue in it, he
commanded their former sins to be
blotted out. For these spaces were
their sins, and they are therefore
made even that they might not ap-
Of Repentance and alms-deeds.
AFTER I had written this book, the
angel which had delivered me to that
shepherd, came into the house where
I was and sat upon the bed, and that
shepherd stood at his right hand.
2 Then he called me and said unto
me; I delivered thee and thy house to
this shepherd, that thou mightest be
protected by him. I said, Yes, Lord.
3 If therefore, said he, thou wilt be
protected from all vexations and
from all cruelty, and have success in
every good word and work, and have
H E R M A S
all virtue and righteousness; walk in
those commands which he has given
thee, and thou shalt have dominion
over all sin.
4 For if thou keepest those com-
mands, all the lust and pleasure of
this present world shall be subject to
thee; and success shall follow thee in
every good undertaking.
5 Take therefore his gravity and
modesty towards thee, and say unto
all, that he is in great honour and
renown with God, and is a prince of
great authority, and powerful in his
6 To him only is the power of re-
pentance committed throughout the
whole world. Does he not seem to
thee to be of great authority?
7 But ye despise his goodness, and
the modesty which he shows towards
8 I said unto him; Sir, ask him since
the time that he came into my house
whether I have done any thing dis-
orderly, or have offended him in any
9 I know, said he, that thou hast
done nothing disorderly, neither wilt
thou hereafter do any such thing,
and therefore I speak these things
with thee that then mayest persevere;
for he has given me a good account
10 But thou shalt speak these things
to others, that they who either have
repented, or shall repent, may be
like-minded with thee, and he may
give me as good an account of them
also; and that I may do the same
unto the Lord.
11 I answered; Sir, I declare to all
men the wonderful works of God;
and I hope that all who love them,
and have before sinned, when they
shall hear these things, will repent,
and recover life.
12 Continue therefore, said he, in
this ministry, and fulfil it. And who-
soever shall do according to the
commands of this shepherd, he shall
live; and shall have great honour
both here and with the Lord.
13 But they that shall not keep his
commands, flee from their life, and
are adversaries to it. And they that
follow not his commands, shall de-
liver themselves unto death; and
shall be every one guilty of his own
14 But I say unto thee, keep these
commandments, and thou shalt find
a cure for all thy sins.
15 Moreover, I have sent these vir-
gins to dwell with thee; for I have
seen that they are very kind to thee.
Thou shalt therefore have them for
thy helpers, that thou mayest the
better keep the commands which he
hath given thee; for these commands
cannot be kept without these virgins.
16 And as I see how they are willing
to be with thee, I will also command
them that they shall not all depart
from thy house.
17 Only do thou purify thy house;
for they will readily dwell in a clean
house. For they are clean and chaste,
and industrious; and all of them
have grace with the Lord.
18 If therefore thou shalt have thy
house pure, they will abide with
thee. But, if it shall be never so little
polluted, they will immediately de-
part from thy house; for these vir-
gins cannot endure any manner of
19 I said unto him; Sir, I hope that I
shall so please them, that they shall
always delight to dwell in my house.
And as be to whom you have com-
mitted me, makes no complaint of
me; so neither shall they complain.
20 Then he said to that shepherd: I
see that the servant of God will live
H E R M A S
and keep these commandments, and
place these virgins in a pure habita-
21 When he had said this, he de-
livered me again to that shepherd,
and called the virgins, and said unto
them; Forasmuch as I see that ye will
readily dwell in this man's house, I
commend him and his family to you,
that ye may not at all depart from
his house. And they willingly heard
22 Then he said unto me, Go on
manfully in thy ministry; declare to
all men the great things of God, and
thou shalt find grace in this ministry.
23 And whosover shall walk in these
commands, shall live, and be happy
in his life. But he that shall neglect
them, shall not live, and shall be un-
happy in his life.
24 Say unto all that whosoever can
do well, cease not to exercise them-
selves in good works, for it is profit-
able unto them. For I would that all
men should be delivered from the in-
conveniences they lie under.
25 For he that wants, and suffers in-
conveniences in his daily life, is in
great torment and necessity. Whoso-
ever therefore delivers such a soul
from necessity, gets great joy unto
26 For he that is grieved with such
inconveniencies is equally tormen-
ted, as if he were in chains. And
many upon the account of such
calamities, being not able to bear
them, have chosen even to destroy
27 He therefore that knows the
calamity of such a man, and does not
free him from it, commits a great
sin, and is guilty of his blood.
28 Wherefore exercise your, selves
in good works, as many as have re-
ceived ability from the Lord; lest
whilst ye delay to do them, the
building of the tower be finished;
because for your sakes the building
29 Except therefore ye shall make
haste to do well, the tower shall be
finished, and ye shall be shut out of
30 And after he had thus spoken
with me, he rose up from the bed
and departed, taking the shepherd
and virgins with him.
31 Howbeit he said unto me, that he
would send back the shepherd and
virgins unto my house. Amen.